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What is the impact of rerouting a cancer diagnosis from emergency presentation to GP referral on resource use and survival? Evidence from a population-based study.

Laudicella, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-5322-4452, Walsh, B., Burns, E., Li Donni, P. and Smith, P. C. (2018). What is the impact of rerouting a cancer diagnosis from emergency presentation to GP referral on resource use and survival? Evidence from a population-based study.. BMC Cancer, 18(1), doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4274-0

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Studies on alternative routes to diagnosis stimulated successful policy interventions reducing the number of emergency diagnoses and associated mortality risk. A dearth of evidence on the costs of such interventions might prevent new policies from achieving more ambitious targets. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study on the population of colorectal (88,051), breast (90,387), prostate (96,219), and lung (97,696) cancer patients diagnosed after a GP referral or an emergency presentation and reported in the Cancer Registry of England. Resource use and survival were compared 1 year before and 5 years after diagnosis (3 years for lung), including the costs of GP referrals not converted into a positive diagnosis. Risk-adjusted statistical models were used to calculate the effect of rerouting patient' diagnoses from emergency presentation to GP referral. RESULTS: Rerouting a cancer diagnosis results in a relatively small additional costs to the National Health System against additional years of life saved to the patient. The cost per year of life saved is £6456 in colorectal, £1057 in breast, -£662 in prostate (savings), and £819 in lung cancer. Reducing the overall prevalence of emergency presentations to the level achieved by the 20% of Clinical Commissioning Groups with the lowest prevalence would result in £11,481,948 against 1863 years of life saved for Colorectal, £847,750 against 889 years for breast, -£943,434 (cost savings) against 1195 years for prostate, and £609,938 against 1011 years for lung cancer. CONCLUSION: Redirecting diagnoses from emergency presentation to GP referral appears an achievable target that can produce large benefits to patients against modest additional costs to the National Health System.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s). 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Publisher Keywords: Route to diagnosis, Emergency, Primary care, Hospital costs, Survival, Early diagnosis
Departments: School of Health Sciences
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19544
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