Impact of Palliative Care Utilization among Kidney Cancer Patients in US Hospitals: A National-Scale Analysis

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Rushin Patel
Mrunal Patel
Darshil Patel
Chieh Yang
Afoma Onyechi
Jessica Ohemeng-Dapaah
Zalak Patel
Safia Shaikh

Keywords

disparities, kidney cancer, length of stay, palliative care, total costs

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the characteristics and utilization patterns of palliative care among the kidney cancer patients using a large-scale representative population-based sample. We retrospectively analyzed National Inpatient Sample hospitalization data from January 2020 to December 2020 to explore disparities in delivering palliative care to deceased kidney cancer patients and assess its impact on healthcare usage, focusing on hospital costs and length of stay (LoS). We used ICD-10 CM codes (International Classification of Diseases-classifying diagnoses and reasons for visits in all healthcare settings) to categorize the study population. We conducted univariable and multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses to calculate coefficients and odds ratios, considering relevant variables and addressing potential confounding factors. We studied 1437 deceased kidney cancer patients, with 53.9% receiving palliative care. Those receiving palliative care had lower total costs ($99,804 vs. $1,34,731) and a shorter LoS (7.19 days vs. 7.66 days), compared to those who didn’t. No significant difference was discovered in LoS. Private insurance, higher income, and female patients were more likely to receive palliative care. Race, hospital teaching status, and hospital size showed no significant differences. This study revealed insights into palliative care use among deceased kidney cancer patients, with cost-saving benefits evident. Disparities showed that individuals with private insurance and higher income more likely accessed palliative care, and females received it more often than males. Physicians and policymakers must consider these findings for equitable resource allocation and improved access.

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