Factors associated with the costs of palliative care: a retrospective cost analysis at a university Cancer hospital in Brazil
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Background: There have been few studies evaluating the costs of palliative care (PC) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), especially for patients with cancer. Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify the sociodemographic and clinical variables that could explain the cost per day of PC for cancer in Brazil. Methods: This was a retrospective cost analysis of PC at a quaternary cancer center in São Paulo, Brazil, between January 2010 and December 2013. Factors influencing the cost per day were assessed with generalized linear models and generalized linear-mixed models in which the random effect was the site of the cancer. Results: The study included 2985 patients. The mean total cost per patient was $12,335 (standard deviation [SD] = 14,602; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 11,803 to 12,851). The mean cost per day per patient was $325.50 (SD = 246.30, 95% CI = 316.60 to 334.30). There were statistically significant differences among cancer sites in terms of the mean cost per day. Multivariate analysis revealed that the drivers of cost per day were Karnofsky performance status, the number of hospital admissions, referral to PC, and place of death. Place of death had the greatest impact on the cost per day; death in a hospital and in hospice care increased the mean cost per day by $1.56 and $1.83, respectively. Conclusion: To allocate resources effectively, PC centers in LMICs should emphasize early enrollment of patients at PC outpatient clinics, to avoid hospital readmission, as well as advance planning of the place of death.
Rozman LM, C.AG, Patiño EG, Soárez PC. Factors associated with the costs of palliative care: a retrospective cost analysis at a university Cancer hospital in Brazil. J. Palliat. Med.. 2021 Mar;in press. doi:10.1089/jpm.2020.0600.
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