Late-Stage Cancer Care

In addition to premature death, patients with late-stage cancer suffer considerable disability and pain. The annual cost of cancer care exceeded $124 billion in the United States in 2010 and is expected to increase to $173 billion by 2020—a rate that outpaces the projected growth of overall medical expenditures. Much of these expenditures are expected to occur for late-stage cancers, defined as cancers with a very poor prognosis due to type or stage.

Opportunities for savings

A conservative estimate of net savings from national implementation of the CERC model is $37 billion dollars in direct U.S. healthcare spending per year.

Safely reducing annual per capita spending for late-stage cancer care

The key elements of the model include:

  1. Help patients and their caregivers better formulate their goals for care and select treatment options that will better meet their goals
  2. Offer immediate treatment of pain and other symptoms associated with late-stage cancer at home through a 7/24 call center, staffed by nurses specializing in cancer care using symptom treatment algorithms and pre-placed emergency medication packets in patients’ homes
  3. Provide chemotherapy mostly in the patient’s home, or safe, economical sites closer to patients’ homes