Please note: All research in progress seminars are off-the-record. Any information about methodology and/or results are embargoed until publication.
Advanced cancer affects over ½ million people annually requiring high quality care delivery that addresses patients’ goals of care, symptoms, and complex care coordination. In 2011, using a hybrid of human-centered design methodologies, we designed a composite of innovative, low-cost implementation strategies to improve advanced cancer care delivery. The strategies include lay health coaches who elicit patient and family goals, assist in advance care planning and symptom management, and connect patients and families to supportive community-based services. In August 2013, supported by funding from the Veterans Administration Specialty Care Transformation Office of Healthcare Transformation, we launched the first pilot test using a randomized control trial to evaluate the feasibility of the program and the effect on patient satisfaction and healthcare utilization. Although the trial is ongoing, the presentation will focus on the preliminary analysis of the advanced cancer care program’s success in achieving feasibility, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced healthcare utilization and expenditures. We will describe the unique study design and discuss implications for future efforts focused on improving advanced cancer care within and outside the VA health care delivery system.