Cost and Length of Stay in Pancreatic Cancer Patients


A study presented at ASCO 2019 examined the differences between hospitalization cost and length of stay among pancreatic cancer patients based on location of the disease.

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A recent study found that, despite lower rates of metastasis pancreatectomy, patients that have been hospitalized for pancreatic head cancers have longer hospital length of stat and higher healthcare cost burden compared to patients with a different disease location.

The study, which was carried out by investigators at Michigan State University, was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2019 Annual Meeting.

With the understanding that pancreatic cancer currently accounts for 7% of all cancer deaths in the US, investigators sought to describe the disease burden, pattern of resource utilization, hospital cost, and outcomes among hospitalized pancreatic cancer patients based on the location of the disease.

Using a 2014 national inpatient sample database, investigators identified 4799 discharge records to include in the retrospective study. Inclusion criteria included having pancreatic cancer as a primary discharge diagnosis and records must have specified the cancer location.

Investigators used logistic and linear regression models to estimate the adjusted odds ratios (OR), mean length of stay (LOS), and hospital charges (HC). Additionally, sociodemographic factors, co-morbidities, and therapeutic surgical procedures received during hospitalization were included as covariates.

Of the 4799 included in the study, 74.3% had cancer in the pancreatic head and 25.6% hard cancer in the body and tail. Authors noted that pancreatic head cancer was more common in white patients (73%).

Patients who had pancreatic cancer in the body or tail were less likely to have an endoscopic pancreatic procedure during index hospitalization compared to the head (OR 7.39, 95% CI 3.9 -13.9). Patients with pancreatic head cancers were less likely to have a pancreatectomy (OR 45, 95% CI 27.8 - 65.2) during index hospitalization than those with body or tail cancers. Additionally, patients with cancer in the body or tail more commonly experienced metastasis than patients with pancreatic head cancer (23.8% versus 20.4% P= 0.02).

After analyses, investigators found that pancreatic head cancers were associated with a significantly longer mean hospital LOS (8.1 versus 6.4 days, mean difference 1.66, P< 0.001) and higher mean cost of hospitalization ($85,263.40 versus $56,156.60 P< 0.001) compared to cancers of the body and tail.

Within their conclusion, authors wrote their hope is that findings can inform physicians, policymakers, and patients, while helping to channel resources to reduce healthcare cost and improve outcomes for individuals and healthcare organizations.

This study, titled “Hospitalization cost and length of stay in pancreatic cancer population: A national inpatient database study,” was presented at ASCO 2019.

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