Healthcare utilization and spending among older patients diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Academic Article


  • Background: Developing appropriate care models for patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) >65y require examination of current healthcare utilization patterns and cost, but non-malignant condition-specific utilization and Medicare spending among older patients has not been characterized. Methods: Using SEER-Medicare, 14,533 patients diagnosed with NHL at age > 65 between 2008 and 2015 and a comparable non-cancer cohort (n = 14,533) were identified. Hospitalizations and outpatient visits for 109 non-malignant conditions were grouped into ten categories, allowing condition-specific utilization and spending calculation from diagnosis to 5y, censoring at blood or marrow transplantation, 6mo prior to death or end (12/31/2016). Using the 90th percentile as a cut-off, factors associated with high-hospitalization rates and high-spending were evaluated. Results: Patients with NHL were 1.5-fold more likely to be hospitalized and 1.8-fold more likely to experience outpatient visits when compared with the non-cancer cohort. Patients with NHL had greater aging-related, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal hospitalizations than controls (p < 0.001). Average Medicare spending/visit was higher for patients with NHL (hospitalization: $16,950 vs. $13,474, p < 0.001; outpatient: $1176 vs. $392, p < 0.001). Factors associated with high-utilization and high-spending included diffuse large B cell lymphoma subtype, non-white race, and residence in low-education area. Conclusions: Older patients with NHL experienced higher utilization and higher spending per-utilization compared to a non-cancer cohort over five years from cancer diagnosis. Clinical and demographic sub-groups demonstrated increased risk for the highest spending and utilization. The substantial utilization and spending for non-malignant conditions among older patients with NHL provides quantifiable evidence for survivor-adapted healthcare management policies.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kenzik KM; Williams GR; Bhakta N; Robison LL; Landier W; Goyal G; Mehta A; Bhatia S
  • Start Page

  • 1225
  • End Page

  • 1232
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 8