Abstract ID: 64

Primary Topic: Integrative medicine delivery models
Secondary Topic: Health Services Research/Cost Effectiveness
Tertiary Topic: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Medicaton Cost Savings in an Inpatient Oncology Unit Using an Integrative Model
Irene M Estores, MD, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States; Robert R Leverence , MD, University of Florida , Gainesville , FL, United States; Lazarus Mramba, PhD, University of Florida, Gainesville , FL, United States; Carrie Warring , MHS, MBA, University of Florida , Gainesville , FL, United States; Lauren Arce, MSN; Andrew Hix, BS, UF Shands Hospital , Gainesville , FL, United States

Late Breaker: No



Patients with a cancer diagnosis experience symptoms that reduce their quality of life and ability to complete treatment. Pharmacologic approaches alone are inadequate in fully controlling symptoms such as pain, anxiety, emesis, and insomnia. They also contribute to adverse events and do not promote self-empowerment. Non-pharmacologic approaches have been shown to improve symptom control and sense of wellbeing. However, more data is needed on related costs and outcomes.


To determine the effect of hospital-based integrative medicine services on medication costs for opioids, benzodiazepines, and anti-emetics in an adult hematology oncology unit.

Methods/Session Format


Retrospective design using non-randomized, non-equivalent groups with medication cost data extracted from hospital decision support database.


Following a referral and integrative assessment, patients received one or a combination of massage, yoga, meditation /relaxation services at bedside based on patient preference and a plan of care developed by the team. We compared average medication costs per day in patients who received any one or a combination of services to those who did not.


Results: Cost data was available for 111 hospital encounters for patients who received integrative services and 273 encounters for those who did not. Controlling for level of pain and length of stay, we found a decrease in average medication cost per day of 41% (p=0.003) for the intervention group compared to a comparison group.


Conclusion: An integrative medicine model delivered on an inpatient oncology unit that incorporates patient preference in care planning results in a relative drug cost reduction for opioids, benzodiazepines, and anti-emetics.