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BMC Health Services Research





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Objectives: Little is known about the current status and the changing trends of hospitalization and palliative care consultation of patients with gastric cancer in the United States. The aim of this study was to evaluate the changing trend in the number of hospitalization, palliative care consultation, and palliative procedures in the US during a recent 10-year period using a nationwide database. Methods: This was a retrospective study that analyzed the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database of 2009–2018. Patients aged more than 18 years who were diagnosed with a gastric cancer using International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 and 10 codes were included. Palliative care consultation included palliative care (ICD-9, V66.7; ICD-10, Z51.5) and advanced care planning (ICD-9, V69.89; ICD-10, Z71.89). Palliative procedures included percutaneous or endoscopic bypass, gastrostomy or enterostomy, dilation, drainage, nutrition, and irrigation for palliative purpose. Results and discussion: A total of 86,430 patients were selected and analyzed in this study. Using a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) approach, the annual number of hospitalizations of gastric cancer patients was found to be decreased during 2009–2018 (CAGR: -0.8%, P = 0.0084), while utilization rates of palliative care and palliative procedures increased (CAGR: 9.3 and 1.6%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Multivariable regression analysis revealed that palliative care consultation was associated with reduced total hospital charges (−$34,188, P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Utilization of palliative care consultation to patients with gastric cancer may reduce use of medical resources and hospital costs.


Gastric cancer; Hospice; Hospital costs; Length of stay; Palliative care; Palliative procedure


Gastroenterology | Palliative Care

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