Cancer Treatment Costs are Consistently Lower in the Community Setting Versus the Hospital Outpatient Department

Nearly 1.7 million new cancer diagnoses in the United States are projected for 2017. Controlling the cost of treating cancer is an important consideration for curbing the overall cost of health care. We conducted a systematic review of the literature on the cost of treating cancer in the two most common cancer treatment locations, the physician’s office/community oncology clinic and the
hospital outpatient department. Ten studies that fit the inclusion criteria were identified and analyzed. The studies differed in the cancers examined, datasets used, and methods employed. Despite these differences, all identified studies found cancer treatment costs were higher in the hospital outpatient department. On average, costs in the hospital outpatient department were 38 percent higher than in the physician office.