Ovarian Cancer Palliative Care May Decrease Readmission Rates, Expert Says

The use of palliative care in ovarian cancer resulted in a decrease in overall readmissions and index hospitalization costs.

Patients with ovarian cancer who received palliative care had a decreased risk of being readmitted at the 90-day time point, according to Alex Francoeur, MD.

In a conversation with CancerNetwork® during The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, Francoeur, a resident at The University of California, Los Angeles, detailed overall readmissions and how palliative care helped to reduce index hospitalization cost, the findings of which were noted as being significant.

The study was conducted using the National Readmissions Database, which allowed investigators to track each patient over the course of a year to determine how many times they were readmitted. The study noted that those who were referred to palliative care most likely had multiple comorbidities.


We used a large national database called the NRD—the National Readmissions Database—to answer the question [of readmission rates for patients with ovarian cancer]. What we found when we looked at women who had an in-patient palliative care consultation during admission for ovarian cancer, the rate of readmission dramatically decreased from about a [41%] readmission [to about] 27%, which correlated to an odds ratio of about 0.59 which, was quite a significant drop. This was looking at the 90-day readmission rate.

We also looked at a couple of other factors such as the number of readmissions with this database; you can track an individual patient over a calendar year and see how many times they were readmitted. We found that there was a decrease in the overall number of readmissions, as well, by about 50%. When we looked at the overall cost, there was a decrease in the cost of the index hospitalization of almost $2000. Both of those findings were significant as well.


Francoeur A, Chervu NL, Mardock AL, et al. Access to palliative care and association with readmission rates in patients with ovarian cancer. Presented at: 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer; March 25-28; Tampa, Florida.

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