Out-of-pocket costs for commercially insured patients with localized prostate cancer.

Financial toxicity is an underappreciated component of cancer survivorship. Treatment-specific out-of-pocket costs for patients undergoing localized prostate cancer treatment have not, to date, been described and may influence patient's decision making.

We performed a retrospective cohort study among commercially-insured patients in the United States with incident prostate cancer from 2013 to 2018. We captured out-of-pocket and total costs in the year following diagnosis and compared these between patients receiving radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy, and no local treatment using propensity-score weighting adjusting for patient demographics and pre-diagnosis health utilization costs.

Among 30,360 included men [median age 59 years, 83% Charlson score 0], 15,854 underwent surgery, 5,265 radiotherapy, and 9,241 no local therapy in the year following diagnosis. In the 6-months preceding diagnosis, median overall and out-of-pocket health care costs were $2022 (interquartile range $3778) and $466 (interquartile range $781), respectively. Following propensity-score weighting, out-of-pocket costs were significantly lower for patients who received no active treatment (adjusted cost $1746, 95% confidence interval [CI] $1704-1788), followed by those who underwent surgery ($2983, 95% CI $2832-3142, P < 0.001), and those who underwent radiation ($3139, 95% CI $2939-3353, P < 0.001) in the 6-months following diagnosis. Similar patterns were seen with out-of-pocket costs 6 to 12 months following index, with overall costs, and with costs attributable to inpatient, outpatient medical, and outpatient pharmacy services.

Among commercially insured men with incident prostate cancer, active treatment with surgery or radiotherapy was associated with significantly higher out-of-pocket costs versus those who received no treatment, with little difference observed between treatment approaches.

Urologic oncology. 2021 Sep 30 [Epub ahead of print]

Christopher J D Wallis, Daniel D Joyce, Zachary Klaassen, Amy N Luckenbaugh, Aaron A Laviana, David Penson, Stacie B Dusetzina, Daniel A Barocas

Department of Urology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN., Department of Surgery, Section of Urology, Medical College of Georgia - Augusta University, Augusta, GA., Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School, Austin, TX., Department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.