Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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The Cost-Effectiveness of High-Volume Hospital’s Surgical Care for Pancreatic Cancer: Economic Evidence Reviewed

Authors: Shannon Hearney, Jeffrey Hoch


Pancreatic cancer is a notoriously costly and deadly form of cancer. Many types of treatment centers exist for patients to seek care from, including high-volume centers which have shown promise to provide the highest quality of care. While it may be true that this type of center provides the best care it is unclear if that care is cost-effective. Studies in the US have confirmed that high-volume hospitals do provide higher quality of care but have shown inconsistencies in the cost-effectiveness of that care. Other studies, like those from Finland have shown that high-volume centers had lower mortality and lower costs than low-volume centers. This paper thus seeks to review the current scientific literature to better understand if high-volume centers are cost-effective in delivering care in both a European setting and in the US. A review of major reference databases such as Medline, Embase and PubMed will be conducted for cost-effectiveness studies on the surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer at high-volume centers. Possible MeSH terms to be included, but not limited to, are: “pancreatic cancer”, “cost analysis”, “cost-effectiveness”, “economic evaluation”, “pancreatic neoplasms”, “surgical”, and “high-volume”. Studies must also have been available in the English language. This review will encompass European scientific literature, as well as those in the US. Based on our preliminary findings, we anticipate high-volume hospitals to provide better care at greater costs. We anticipate that high-volume hospitals may be cost-effective in different contexts depending on the national structure of a healthcare system. Countries with more centralized and socialized healthcare may yield results that are more cost-effective. High-volume centers may differ in their cost-effectiveness of the surgical care of pancreatic cancer internationally especially when comparing those in the United States to others throughout Europe.

Keywords: cost-effectiveness analysis, economic evaluation, pancreatic cancer, scientific literature review

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