The delivery of surgical and medical oncology care in patients with stage III colon cancer at the same hospital was associated with lower costs compared with those who received care at different hospitals, a study published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer has shown.

For the retrospective study, researchers analyzed data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Database – Medicare cohort that included 9,075 patients with stage III colon cancer. Patients had been diagnosed between 2000 and 2009 and had received both surgical and medical oncology care within 1 year of diagnosis.

Results showed that 37% of patients received their surgical and medical oncology care from different hospitals. Researchers found that patients living in rural areas were less likely than those living in urban areas to receive medical oncology care from the same hospital (OR = 0.62; 95% CI: 0.43, 0.90).

Continue Reading

RELATED: Colonoscopies Underperformed for Younger, High-Risk Americans

The study also demonstrated that care received at the same hospital was not associated with a reduction in all-cause or colon cancer-specific mortality; however, it was associated with a median 8% reduction in costs at 12 months.

The findings suggest that administrators seeking to improve outcomes and reduce costs through the integration of complex care will need to lower the proportion of patients receiving oncology care at more than one institution.


  1. Hussain T, Chang H-Y, Veenstra CM, Pollack CE. Fragmentation in specialist care and stage III colon cancer. Cancer. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29474.