Outpatient treatment costs and their potential impact on cancer care

Isshiki, T.

Cancer creates a tremendous financial burden. Cancer-related costs are categorized into direct, indirect, and psychosocial costs. Although there have been many reports on medical care costs, which are direct, those on other costs are extremely scarce. We estimated travel time and costs required for cancer patients to receive outpatient treatment. We studied 521 cancer patients receiving anti-cancer treatment between February 2009 and December 2012 at the Outpatient Chemotherapy Center of Teikyo University Chiba Medical Center. Address data were extracted from Data Warehouse electronic medical records, and travel distance and time required for outpatient treatment were calculated via MapInfo and ACT Distance Calculator Package. Transportation costs were estimated on the basis of ¥274 (=$3.00) per kilometer. The study design was approved by an ethics review board of Teikyo University (12-851). Average round-trip travel distance, time, and cost for all patients were 26.7 km, 72.5 min, and ¥7,303 ($79.99), respectively. Cancer patients incurred a travel cost of ¥4000-¥9000 ($40.00 to $100.00) for each outpatient treatment. With population aging, seniors living alone and senior households are increasing, and outpatient visits are becoming a common burden.

Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2014
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