标题：Geographical disparities in treatment and health care costs for end-of-life cancer patients in China: a retrospective study
作者：Leng, Anli; Jing, Jun; Nicholas, Stephen; Wang, Jian
作者机构：[Leng, Anli; Wang, Jian] Shandong Univ, Sch Publ Hlth, Ctr Hlth Econ Expt & Publ Policy, 44 Wenhuaxi Rd, Jinan 250012, Shandong, Peoples R China.; [ 更多
通讯作者：Leng, AL;Wang, J;Leng, AL;Wang, J;Wang, J
通讯作者地址：[Leng, AL; Wang, J]Shandong Univ, Sch Publ Hlth, Ctr Hlth Econ Expt & Publ Policy, 44 Wenhuaxi Rd, Jinan 250012, Shandong, Peoples R China;[Leng, AL; 更多
关键词：Geographic disparities; Cancer treatments; Health care costs;; End-of-life (EOL)
摘要：BackgroundCancer imposes substantial burdens on cancer suffers, their families and the health system, especially in the end of life (EOL) of care patients. There are few developing country studies of EOL health care costs and no specialist studies of the disparities in cancer treatment and care costs by geographical location in China. We sought to examine geographical disparities in the types of cancer treatments and care costs during the last 3months of life for Chinese cancer patients.MethodsUsing snowball sampling and face-to-face interviews, field research was conducted with a specialist questionnaire. Data were collected on 792 cancer patients who died between July 2013 and June 2016 in China. Total EOL health care costs were modeled using generalized linear models (GLMs) with log link and gamma distribution.ResultsTotal health care costs were highest for urban (US$12,501) and western region (US$9808) patients and lowest for rural (US$5996) and central region (US$5814) patients. Our study revealed about 40% of the health care expenses occur in the last three months of life, and was mainly driven by hospital costs that accounted for about 70% of EOL expenditures. Patients faced out-of-pocket expenses for health care, with the ability to borrow from family and friends also impacting the type of treatment and health facility. Life-extending treatments per cancer patient was about two times that of patients receiving conservative treatments.Urban patients were more likely to receive life-extending treatments, financed by higher incomes and a greater capacity to borrow from family and friends to bridge the gap between health insurance reimbursements and out-of-pocket expenditures. Cancer patients in western region and urban area were significantly more likely to access hospice care.ConclusionsWe found significant urban-rural and regional disparities in EOL types of cancer treatment, utilization of medical care and the health care expenditures. The EOL cancer care costs imposed heavy economic burdens in China.We recommend better clinical guidelines, improved EOL conversations and fuller information on treatment regimes among patients, family caregivers and doctors. Policies and information should pay more attention to palliative care options and the socio-cultural context of cancer care decision-making by family.