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Five Strategies to Reduce Acute Care for Cancer Patients ID'd

THURSDAY, May 3, 2018 -- Five major strategies exist for reducing acute care for patients with cancer, according to a review published online April 17 in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

Nathan R. Handley, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a literature search of guidelines published by professional organizations from 2000 to 2017 in order to identify strategies to reduce unplanned acute care for patients with cancer.

The researchers identified five strategies: identifying patients at high risk of unplanned acute care, enhancing access and care coordination, standardizing clinical pathways for symptom management, developing new loci for urgent cancer care, and employing early palliative care. Each strategy was assessed based on specific outcomes, including reduction in emergency department visits, reduction in hospitalizations, and reduction in 30-day rehospitalizations. In addition, gaps in knowledge were defined and areas for future research identified.

"Proposed reimbursement changes amplify the need for cancer programs to focus on this issue," the authors write.

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Posted: May 2018