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Revista del Cuerpo Médico Hospital Nacional Almanzor Aguinaga Asenjo

Print version ISSN 2225-5109On-line version ISSN 2227-4731


AMADO-TINEO, José et al. Analysis of health care costs for patients with cancer at the end of life: Hospital versus home with palliative care, at the third level of care. Rev. Cuerpo Med. HNAAA [online]. 2022, vol.15, n.2, pp.174-179.  Epub June 10, 2022. ISSN 2225-5109.


The final stage of cancer patients generates high costs, especially in hospitals. Objectives: To determine the difference in care costs at the end of life for cancer patients in the hospital versus at home.

Material and methods:

Retrospective cost analysis study in patients who died of clinical stage IV cancer in a tertiary social security hospital, March 2018. A home group (Home) of a palliative program was compared with a hospital group (Hospital) admitted from the emergency department. Direct costs of professional services, hospitalization, procedures, auxiliary exams, and medications were estimated. Chi square and Student's T were used for statistical analysis, considering a value of p<0.05 and using SPSS 24.0.


81 patients in Home and 22 in Hospital were included, aged between 36 and 96 years, with a median of 72 years in Home and 77 in Hospital (p=0.97), female sex 59 and 73% respectively (p= 0.25), predominantly cancer of digestive and genitourinary origin. The average cost per patient in Home was 497 US dollars and in Hospital 1908 (p<0.01), with a daily average per patient of 17 vs 447 respectively. In the Hospital, the costs of hospitalization, auxiliary tests (tomography, resonance, arterial gas analysis, C-reactive protein) and antibiotics (ertapenem and colistin) predominated, while in the Home the highest cost was in medical services and medications.


The medical costs in the final stage of life of patients with advanced cancer are 3.8 times higher when they die in the hospital than at home

Keywords : Costs and cost analysis; medical care; terminal stage of illness: death.

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