The Impact of Progression on Healthcare Resource Utilization and Costs Among Patients with High-Grade Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer After Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Therapy: A Retrospective SEER-Medicare Analysis

Advances in Therapy, 2021


We evaluated the real-world healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and costs among patients with high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (HG-NMIBC) following Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy.


Patients aged ≥ 65 years diagnosed with HG-NMIBC between 2008 and 2015 who received adequate BCG induction and were identified in the SEER-Medicare database. Those who received intravesical chemotherapy or radical cystectomy within 12 months of the last BCG induction dose, and had ≥ 6 months of data availability after treatment (index date), were included. Annualized HRU and mean medical costs (2020 United States dollars) were estimated and compared between patients with versus without progression. Inverse probability of treatment weighting was used to adjust for differences in baseline characteristics.


Of 986 patients diagnosed with HG-NMIBC who met the inclusion criteria, 257 (26.1%) progressed; the mean ages were similar between patients who did and did not progress (77.6 vs. 77.0 years). The overall population had a mean of 0.96 [standard deviation (SD): 1.18] inpatient admissions, 6.47 (11.40) hospitalization days, 1.38 (2.19) emergency department (ED) visits, and 48.03 (44.97) outpatient visits per patient-year during the study period; total annualized costs per patient post-BCG were $39,102 ($44,244). Patients experiencing progression had significantly higher mean numbers of inpatient admissions [1.61 (SD 1.40) vs. 0.72 (0.99)], hospitalization days [11.77 (14.96) vs. 4.59 (9.29)], ED visits [2.34 (2.92) vs. 1.03 (1.76)], and outpatient visits [65.97 (44.72) vs. 41.63 (43.09)] per patient-year compared with patients without progression (all p < 0.05). Total mean annualized costs per patient after BCG among those who progressed [$65,668 (SD $53,943)] were more than double compared with patients who did not [$29,780 ($36,425)].


Existing treatments for HG-NMIBC after BCG therapy are associated with substantial HRU and medical costs, particularly after progression. Novel treatments and earlier detection are needed to reduce progression rates and associated costs in this difficult-to-treat population.

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Yang M, Georgieva MV, Bocharova I, Vembusubramanian M, Qian K, Guo A, Kamat AM