Study: Travel Time Impacts Care
Medicare patients with cancer had higher costs, personal financial responsibility, and hospitalization rates if they had to travel more than an hour to receive care, a retrospective analysis of 23,000 patients showed.
For the initial phase of care, Medicare spending was 14% higher and patient cost responsibility was 10% higher for patients who traveled more than an hour to get care as compared with those who traveled ≤30 minutes. Longer travel distance was associated with higher hospitalization rates for initial, survivor-ship, and end-of-life phases of care. Patients who had to travel more than an hour were more likely to receive inpatient care at local hospitals rather than their cancer care site.