Cancer is more widespread than ever before. Every day, approximately 1,670 people die from cancer. With the latest Covid pandemic and related restrictions, many people missed their routine screenings, and cancer patients missed their follow-up appointments. Geriatric patients are especially at risk when it comes to cancer.
As we know, the older you get, the higher your cancer risk becomes. And many of these cancer diagnoses have a few things in common, among which are obesity and various other lifestyle choices. Patients may or may not discuss these things with their care providers, and that’s what we’re here to discuss.
A value-based healthcare model is focused on more effective communication with the oncologic patient to improve their health outcomes by analyzing lifestyle choices.
Why Are Geriatric Patients More at Risk in Oncologic Treatments?
That would be because older patients tend to be physically weaker and frailer than younger individuals. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy will affect their quality of life severely. There is also some level of distrust in oncologic therapies due to how lucrative they are, financially speaking.
The idea is that some cancer patients may not benefit the most from chemotherapy or similar treatments. Doctors should also consider easing the patient’s suffering instead of simply seeking to treat their illness. Treatment sought at any cost may not always be the best option. Sometimes, it’s best to communicate with the patient and seek their opinion, offering the most suitable assistance they require.
How Can a Value-Centric Primary Care System Help Cancer Patients?
Senior cancer patients are more vulnerable, both physically and psychologically, to the plights of cancer. By adopting a value-based care approach, you will have more success in treating both the symptoms and the cause. Below, you’ll find three ways you can achieve better outcomes for your older oncologic patients:
- Help them understand the “what,” “how,” “why,” and “when” of their diagnosis
Drop the jargon, adopt a more humane attitude, explain their diagnosis, potential treatment options, their efficiency, and side effects, and offer additional information if requested. Tell them about their expectations during and after the treatments, and let your patient trust you. This is one of the best ways you can appease your patient’s minds and convince them to seek help!
- Manage their chronic illness effectively
A large majority of older cancer patients suffer from other chronic conditions that make the situation harder than it needs to be. Cancer treatments will weaken and take a further toll on them, so their chronic conditions should be addressed first and foremost. This would optimize their health and prepare them for chemotherapy or other suitable cancer treatments.
- Offer a streamlined care plan
Coordinated forward-thinking and an integrated approach would be extremely helpful to geriatric cancer patients. It would give care providers real-time access to oncologists and other specialists that their patients may benefit from. All cancer-related medical treatments would be provided more efficiently, and the patient would only benefit from this streamlined experience!
Value-Based Oncology Makes a Big Difference in Geriatric Patients
Compared to the old fee-for-service model that encourages unnecessary treatments, prescriptions, and tests, a value-based approach primarily cares about the patient’s well-being. Did you know that approximately 60% of American cancer patients die in acute care hospitals, and 20% die in nursing homes? About 80% of them would prefer to die at home, a study shows.
This is where primary care providers and oncologists could work together to improve a patient’s quality of life as much as possible, even when end-of-life situations come into play. If you’d like to learn more about Primary Medical Care Center’s value-based approach to geriatric cancer patients, call us at (305) 751-1500 or request an appointment online!