Background: The burden of acute care among cancer patients, estimated to exceed $70 billion by 2020, represents approximately 50% of all costs of advanced cancer care and accounts for 70% of nationwide regional variation in these costs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed value-driven Rule OP-35 includes a mandate to reduce acute care use among oncology patients. Emergency departments (ED) are the gateway to much acute care use and their 60% oncology patient admit rates are more than double general rates. Keeping oncologic urgencies and emergencies out of the ED has the potential to increase value for oncology care delivery. Here we describe the launch of a dedicated oncology urgent care clinic that offers same-day treatment for oncologic urgencies/emergencies, as well as unplanned supportive care needs and, where necessary, facilitates direct admission to the inpatient service.
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