Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Oncology Practice



Issue Number


First Page


Last Page





Health Services Research | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


PURPOSE: Reducing acute care use is an important strategy for improving value in cancer care. However, little information is available to describe and compare population-level hospital use across cancer types. Our aim was to estimate unplanned hospitalization rates and to describe the reasons for hospitalization in a population-based cohort recently diagnosed with cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: California Cancer Registry data linked with administrative inpatient data were used to examine unplanned hospitalization among individuals diagnosed with cancer between 2009 and 2012 (n = 412,850). Hospitalizations for maintenance chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or planned surgery were excluded. Multistate models were used to estimate age-adjusted unplanned hospitalization rates, accounting for survival. RESULTS: Approximately 67% of hospitalizations in the year after diagnosis were unplanned, 35% of newly diagnosed individuals experienced an unplanned hospitalization, and 67% of unplanned hospitalizations originated in the emergency department (ED). Nonmalignancy principal diagnoses most frequently associated with unplanned hospitalization included infection (15.8%) and complications of a medical device or care (6.5%). Unplanned hospitalization rates were highest for individuals with hepatobiliary or pancreatic cancer (2.08 unplanned hospitalizations per person-year at risk), lung cancer (1.58 unplanned hospitalizations), and brain or CNS cancer (1.47 unplanned hospitalizations), and were lowest among individuals with prostate cancer (0.18 unplanned hospitalizations) and melanoma (0.25 unplanned hospitalizations). CONCLUSION: The population burden of unplanned hospitalization among individuals newly diagnosed with cancer is substantial. Many unplanned hospitalizations originate in the ED and are associated with potentially preventable admission diagnoses. Efforts to reduce unplanned hospitalization might target subgroups at higher risk and focus on the ED as a source of admission.


This article originally appeared in Journal of Oncology Practice, Volume 15, Issue 1, 2019. The article can also be found online by following this link. SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.