Treatment of breast cancer patients from a public healthcare system in a private center: costs of care for a pilot public-private partnership in oncology

Einstein (Sao Paulo). Apr-Jun 2013;11(2):216-23. doi: 10.1590/s1679-45082013000200014.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Objective: To describe the flow and costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with breast cancer who come from the public healthcare system and were treated at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.

Methods: Between August 2009, and December 2011, 51 patients referred by the Unified Public Healthcare System (SUS) had access to Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein for diagnostic radiology, medical oncology, radiotherapy, and oncologic/breast reconstruction surgery. The data were collected retrospectively from the hospital records, patient charts, pharmacy records, and from the hospital billing system.

Results: The total sum spent for diagnosis and treatment of these 51 patients was US$ 1,457,500.00. This value encompassed expenses with a total of 85 hospitalizations, 2,875 outpatient visits, 16 emergency room visits, and all expenses associated with these stays at the hospital. The expenditure for treatment of each patient submitted to biopsy, breast conserving surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy without trastuzumab (a regime with taxane followed by anthracycline), radiotherapy, and 5 years of tamoxifen was approximately US$ 25,500.00.

Conclusion: Strategies for cost-reduction of treatment in the private setting are necessary to enable future large-scale public-private partnerships in oncology.

Objetivo:: Descrever os fluxos e os custos associados ao diagnóstico e tratamento de pacientes com câncer de mama provenientes do Sistema Único de Saúde e tratadas no Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.

Métodos:: Entre agosto de 2009 e dezembro de 2011, 51 pacientes do Sistema Único de Saúde tiveram acesso à estrutura do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein para os serviços de radiologia, oncologia, radioterapia e cirurgia oncológica/reconstrutora de mama. Os dados foram coletados retrospectivamente, a partir do registro hospitalar de câncer, prontuários, registros de farmácia e do sistema de cobrança do hospital.

Resultados:: O valor total gasto para o diagnóstico e tratamento dessas 51 pacientes foi de R$ 2.915.000,00. Esse valor compreendeu os gastos com um total de 85 internações, 2.875 atendimentos ambulatoriais, 16 atendimentos no pronto atendimento e todos os custos associados a essas passagens pelo hospital. O valor gasto para o tratamento de cada paciente submetida à biópsia, setorectomia, quimioterapia adjuvante sem trastuzumabe (esquema com taxano seguido de antraciclina), radioterapia e 5 anos de tamoxifeno, foi de, aproximadamente, R$ 51.000,00

Conclusão:: Estratégias de redução do custo do tratamento na rede privada seriam necessárias para permitir futuras parcerias público-privadas em grande escala, em oncologia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brazil
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Services / economics
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Public-Private Sector Partnerships / economics*
  • Retrospective Studies