PURPOSE: Cancer survivors have unique medical care needs. "Shared care," delivered by both oncologists and primary care providers (PCPs), may better address these needs. Little information is available on differences in outcomes among survivors receiving shared care versus oncologist-led or PCP-led care. This study compared experiences of care for survivors receiving shared care, oncologist-led, PCP-led, or other care patterns.
METHODS: We used SEER-CAHPS data, including NCI's SEER registry data, Medicare claims, and Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey responses. Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries age ≥ 65 years in SEER-CAHPS with breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, renal, or prostate cancers or hematologic malignancies who responded to a Medicare CAHPS survey ≥ 18 months post-diagnosis were included. CAHPS measures included ratings of overall care, personal doctor, specialist physician, health plan, prescription drug plan, and five composite scores. Survivorship care patterns were identified using proportions of oncologist, PCP, and other physician encounters. Multivariable regressions examined associations between care patterns and CAHPS outcomes.
RESULTS: Among 10,132 survivors, 15% received shared care, 10% oncologist-led, 33% PCP-led, and 42% other. Compared with shared care, we found no significant differences in experiences of care except for getting needed drugs (lower scores for PCP-led and other care patterns). Sensitivity analyses using different patterns of care definitions similarly showed no associations between survivorship care pattern and experience of care.
CONCLUSIONS: Within the limitations of the study dataset, survivors age 65+ receiving shared care reported similar experiences of care to those receiving oncologist-led, PCP-led, and other patterns of care.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Shared care may not provide survivor-perceived benefits compared with other care patterns.