Implementation of inpatient oncologist-led teams reduced readmission rates and improved discharge to hospice, according to the results of a retrospective study published in JCO Oncology Practice.

“The trend of dedicated inpatient physicians caring for hospitalized patients continues to grow, and studies investigating this care model have shown decreased lengths of stay, lower costs, and improved outcomes for certain patient populations,” the authors wrote in their report. However, whether this applies to oncology hospitalists is not well understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of inpatient oncology hospitalists compared with a traditional model with an outpatient attending oncologist.

The retrospective cohort study evaluated data from 1053 patients treated by the inpatient oncology service and 1009 patients treated by the outpatient service from a single center between 2012 and 2018 of admitted oncology patients. The traditional attending model was converted to an inpatient oncology service in 2015. The oncology hospitalists had completed oncology fellowships.

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The 30-day readmission rate was significantly lower for patients who received care from an oncology hospitalist at 23.0% compared with 29.6% among patients who received traditional outpatient oncology care (P =.019).

The use of oncology hospitalists also significantly increased the rate of discharge to hospice to 18.1% compared with 12.1% with the traditional model (P <.001). “This can likely be explained by the oncology hospitalists’ increased experience with end-of-life conversations and comfort initiating these conversations in the inpatient setting,” the authors noted.

The use of an oncology hospitalist did not affect length of stay, which was a median of 5.3 days for both models (P =.833), or inpatient mortality at 2.4% and 3.1%, respectively (P =.332).

The authors concluded that “compared with the traditional care mod el, the use of oncology hospitalists has a positive impact on patient care and the potential to add value to the hospital system.”

Disclosures: Some of the study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Fanucci KA, Yang A, Chambers A, et al. objective impact of hematology-oncology hospitalist care in an inpatient setting. JCO Oncol Pract. 2022;18:e1641-e1647. doi: 10.1200/OP.22.00208