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Research Letter
February 22, 2018

Spending by Commercial Insurers on Chemotherapy Based on Site of Care, 2004-2014

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Pharmacy School, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • 2Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill
  • 4Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 5Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
JAMA Oncol. Published online February 22, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.5544

The impact of price variation because of the site of care—receiving treatment in a physician office vs a hospital outpatient department (HOPD)—is an important driver of health care spending.1 While patients may receive the same treatment in either setting, insurers typically reimburse payments to HOPDs at a higher rate than to physician offices. Hospitals justify this payment difference because they incur higher overhead costs and treat more medically complex patient populations.1,2

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