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Hollenbeck BK, Kaufman SR, Borza T, Yan P, Herrel LA, Miller DC, Luckenbaugh AN, Skolarus TA, Shahinian VB. Accountable care organizations and prostate cancer care. Urology practice. 2017 Nov 1; 4(6):454-461.
PURPOSE: Accountable care organizations have the potential to increase the value of healthcare by improving population health and enhanced financial stewardship. How practice context modifies effects on a specialty-focused disease, such as prostate cancer care, has implications for their success. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of newly diagnosed men with prostate cancer between 2012 and 2013 using national Medicare data. Practice affiliation (small single-specialty, large single-specialty, multispecialty groups) and accountable care organization alignment were measured at the patient level. Generalized linear multivariable models were fitted to derive adjusted rates of treatment and spending for the 12-month period after diagnosis according to accountable care organization alignment and practice affiliation. RESULTS: Of 15,640 patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer, 1,100 (7.0%) were aligned with accountable care organizations. Patients in these organizations had similar use of curative treatment to those not in accountable care organizations (71.4% vs. 70.0%, respectively; p = 0.33), which did not vary with practice affiliation (p = 0.39). Adjusted spending was higher among patients in accountable care organizations ($20,916 vs. $19,773, p = 0.03); however, this relationship was independent of the practice affiliation (p = 0.90). Higher accountable care organization penetration within a practice was associated with increased spending (p < 0.05) but not with treatment (p = 0.87). CONCLUSIONS: Prostate cancer patients aligned with accountable care organizations had similar rates of treatment, but increased spending, in the year following diagnosis. These findings were similar across practice affiliations. Better specialist engagement by accountable care organizations may be necessary for them to alter practice patterns for specialty care.