Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Health Policy and Management

Major Professor

Laurence G. Branch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Barbara Langland-Orban, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Etienne E. Pracht, Ph.D.


Cost effectiveness, Prostate neoplasm, Breast neoplasm, Health care evaluation mechanisms


This thesis analyzes the influence of specialized cancer hospitals in Florida on the outcomes of the mortality risk, length of stay, and charges of care among patients diagnosed with cancer, and performed a mastectomy, lumpectomy or radical prostatectomy, after controlling for age, gender, race, severity, type of hospital ownership, payment options, type of admission, and presence or absence of residency programs.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration inpatient hospital discharge dataset of 2005 was used to extract data. Analysis of covariance was used to compute the differences on the three outcomes as a function of the specialization/volume of the treatment facility. The treatment facility categories were defined as (1) specialized cancer hospital; (2) general hospital with high volume (100 or more cancer treatment discharges per defined cancer); (3) general hospital with medium volume (50 to 99 cancer treatment discharges per defined cancer); (4) general hospital with low volume (25 to 49 cancer treatment discharges per defined cancer); and (5) general hospital with very low volume (less than 25 cancer treatment discharges per defined cancer).

There were no deaths in any of the three procedures at specialized cancer hospitals. Being hospitalized at a specialty cancer hospital for a radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer was associated with 0.93 fewer days in mean length of stay (mean = 2.68 overall), but length of stay was not significantly different for mastectomy and lumpectomy (mean = 2.21 and 1.86 overall respectively) compared to general hospitals with very low volumes. Charges for care were not significantly different for lumpectomy and radical prostatectomy (mean = $22,097 and $25,220 overall respectively) for a specialty cancer hospital compared to general hospitals with very low volumes, where for mastectomies it was $4,850 on average lower (mean = $24,608 overall).

In this study, patients managed at specialized cancer hospitals sometimes had better outcomes (i.e. shorter lengths of stay for radical prostatectomies and lower charges for mastectomies) compared to very low volume hospitals, while not having any significantly worse outcomes.