Posted in Cancer Center, February 11, 2019

Can radiation treatment to control symptoms caused by cancer benefit hospice patients? That’s the question Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center and Care Partners is trying to answer.

Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center and Care Partners Hospice & Palliative are collaborating on a $25,000 grant from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program to gather data that supports expanding service coverage for hospice patients.  Radiation treatment is currently not covered by medical hospice benefits for people with advanced illness.

Study goals

The study will document how single fraction radiation effects a persons:

  • Daily functioning
  • Quality of life
  • Pain management including need for opioid pain medications

The study compares the difference of people receiving treatment with those who don’t. If the results show a significant benefit, the information will be shared with payers, with the goal of adding palliative radiation to the covered hospice benefit.

“It is novel for hospice patients to have an opportunity to participate in a clinical study, particularly one that includes several important near-term outcomes,” said Timur Mitin, M.D., Medical Director of Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center.

Treatment for hospice patients

Patients enrolled in Care Partners hospice will have access to single fraction radiation at Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center. They are evaluated and treated on the same day, usually within a few hours. Outcomes are documented by Care Partners nursing staff.

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About OHSU Tuality Healthcare

OHSU Tuality Healthcare is a leading health care provider in Washington County serving over 350,000 in the community. Tuality is a nonprofit, community-based organization with a hospital in Hillsboro and numerous physician and outpatient clinics. Tuality has a medical staff of over 400 doctors and other health care professionals, and is one of the region’s largest employers with a staff of over 1,200.