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Comparison of hospitals affiliated with PPS-exempt cancer centers, other hospitals affiliated with NCI-designated cancer centers, and other hospitals that provide cancer care

JAMA Jun 21, 2019

Merkow RP, et al. - Via a retrospective cohort study that compared hospital features and cancer-related services, researchers examined differences between hospitals affiliated with Medicare Prospective Payment System (PPS)-exempt cancer centers, hospitals affiliated with National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers (NCI-CCs), and other hospitals that provide cancer care on metrics for using public reporting. Patients treated at NCI-CCs were more likely to see postoperative sepsis, acute renal failure, and urinary tract infection vs hospitals affiliated with PPS-exempt cancer centers. PPS-exempt cancer center status correlated with improved outcomes for measures including mortality, sepsis, acute renal failure, pulmonary failure, and failure to rescue vs the other hospitals providing cancer care. However, comparable hospital features, patient comorbidity burden, and cancer surgery outcomes were observed in both the hospitals affiliated with PPS-exempt cancer centers and NCI-CCs. Hence, the designation of some cancer centers as PPS-exempt and the lack of a requirement for most hospitals to publicly report cancer-specific quality metrics was questioned.

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