There are “three main messages” to be gleaned from a study about emergency department visits and unplanned hospitalizations among patients with cancer, the study’s lead author, Amir Alishahi Tabriz, MD, PhD, MPH, told The ASCO Post. Dr. Alishahi is Assistant Member, Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.
1) “We need to do much better in terms of pain management.”
2) “We need to focus on palliative care,” stressing that “palliative care is not hospice care. It is so much more than that.”
3) “We need to come up with a much more accurate and practical definition of what is actually constituted as a potentially avoidable emergency department visits.” Failure to come up with such a definition could result in financial penalties for hospitals that provide care for underserved populations, and for the patients themselves.
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Alishahi reported no conflicts of interest.
Emergency department (ED) visits by patients with cancer increased by 67.1% between the start of 2012 and the end of 2019, compared with an increase of just 7.5% in cancer incidence, according to a recent study in JAMA Network Open.1 Factors identified as possible explanations for the...