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:
- Help patients and their caregivers better formulate their goals for care and select treatment options that will better meet their goals
- 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
- Provide chemotherapy mostly in the patient’s home, or safe, economical sites closer to patients’ homes