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Xin (Cynthia) Hu

Predoctoral Fellowship in Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research, 2022 Emory University

The Impact of Vertical Integration of Oncologists on Cancer Care Delivery and Patient Outcomes


The share of oncology practices acquired by hospitals more than doubled in the past decade. This practice of entities at different levels of the health care supply chain combing is called vertical integration. There are growing concerns about the impact of vertical integration on cancer care and outcomes, but empirical evidence is limited. My research explores how oncology market structures, such as vertical integration, affect care quality and patient welfare. Using population-based administrative data, I will study the geographic variation in vertical integration of oncologists across the U.S. and investigate how integration between hospitals and oncologists affects cancer care delivery, dissemination of new cancer treatments, patient outcomes, and health care costs. This project will identify areas and patient populations that are disproportionately affected by vertical integration of oncology practices. Findings from this research have important implications for policymakers responsible for regulating health care market structures and defining value-based payment efforts.

I appreciate the support and recognition from the PhRMA Foundation for my research to understand how oncology market structures affect care quality and patient welfare. This fellowship allows me to keep pursuing my career path to become an independent researcher.

Cynthia Hu