Chicago, IL—People often use the terms “value” and “quality” interchangeably, but they are not the same. In the healthcare landscape, value pertains to health outcomes that matter to patients, taking into account the cost of delivering those outcomes, whereas the Institute of Medicine defines quality as “the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge.”
A claims analysis of elderly patients with pancreatic cancer has shown that those receiving early palliative care consultations had lower healthcare utilization than patients who received late palliative care. Data presented at ASCO 2018 showed that patients who received palliative care within 4 weeks of diagnosis had fewer visits to the emergency department (2.4 vs 3.0, respectively; P <.001) and lower emergency department–related costs ($3043 vs $4117, respectively; P <.001). According to the study investigators, these findings provide real-world evidence to support oncology societies’ recommendations for the early integration of palliative care.