Behind the Scenes: Care Coordination Time in an Outpatient Pediatric Palliative Oncology Clinic

Title

Behind the Scenes: Care Coordination Time in an Outpatient Pediatric Palliative Oncology Clinic

Creator

Brock KE; Degroote NP; Allen KE

Publisher

Journal of Palliative Medicine

Date

2021

Subject

Oncology

Description

Background: Integrated pediatric palliative oncology (PPO) outpatient models are emerging to assist oncologists, children, and families throughout their course with cancer. Significant time is devoted to care coordination ("nonbillable"time), but the scope, time per patient, and ratio of nonbillable to billable (NB:B) minutes are unknown. This information is crucial to designing new PPO outpatient clinics and advocating for appropriate personnel, physician time, and resources. Our objectives were to quantify nonbillable time and evaluate demographic or disease-based associations. Method(s): A single-institution one-day PPO clinic was started in July 2017. All encounters were tracked for 11 months. Administrative and PPO inpatient time were excluded. Billable and nonbillable minutes were recorded daily. Ratios of NB:B minutes by patient demographics and clinical factors were calculated using descriptive statistics and multivariate modeling. Result(s): Ninety-five patients were included [solid tumors (42, 44%), brain tumors (33, 35%), and leukemia/lymphoma (20, 21%)]. PPO completed billable visits on 52 of 95 (55%) patients and assisted without billing in the care of 43 patients (45%). Twenty-four (25%) patients were deceased. Overall NB:B ratio was 1.04 and differed among diagnoses (leukemia/lymphoma 2.5, solid tumor 0.9, and brain tumor 0.8). Deceased patients had a higher ratio of NB:B minutes than alive patients (1.9 vs. 0.8, p = 0.012). Billable and nonbillable minutes both increased over time. Conclusion(s): Care coordination in a PPO clinic is time intensive and grows with clinic volume. When devising a PPO outpatient program, this NB:B ratio should be accounted for in clinician time and personnel devoted to patient and family assistance. © Copyright 2021, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2021.

Rights

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Citation List Month

2021 Special Edition - Oncology

Citation

Brock KE; Degroote NP; Allen KE, “Behind the Scenes: Care Coordination Time in an Outpatient Pediatric Palliative Oncology Clinic,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed February 23, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/18960.