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Summary

Avalere research was published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology Clinical Cancer Informatics, showing a considerable drop in cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment for Medicare beneficiaries as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The study, conducted in collaboration with the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), utilized Inovalon Provider Clearinghouse data, which represents 5%–7% of the Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) population. The goal of the analysis was to examine over 6 million oncology claims to identify changes in the utilization of cancer care services and gain insight into the impact of COVID-19 on access to cancer care, about those services ability to diagnose and treat cancer in a timely manner, and on the treatment journeys for patients.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care: How the Pandemic is Delaying Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment for American Seniors” found reductions in the following areas:

  • Patient evaluation and management visits for both new and established patients (Figure 1)
  • Breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancer screenings (Figure 2)
  • Cancer biopsies and surgeries
  • Cancer-related hospitalizations
  • Chemotherapy infusions (Figure 3)

Read the COA press release on this research.

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Figure 1. Barriers to Care Caused by COVID-19 Complications Have Resulted in Significant Reductions in Patient Visits
Figure 1. Barriers to Care Caused by COVID-19 Complications Have Resulted in Significant Reductions in Patient Visits
Figure 2. Limitations on Delivery of Care due to COVID-19 Have Resulted in Significant Reductions in Cancer Screenings
Figure 2. Limitations on Delivery of Care due to COVID-19 Have Resulted in Significant Reductions in Cancer Screenings
Figure 3. Reductions in Infusion Services in July and Later Months May Be Attributable to Delayed and Postponed Screenings
Figure 3. Reductions in Infusion Services in July and Later Months May Be Attributable to Delayed and Postponed Screenings
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