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Urologist practice structure and quality of prostate cancer care.

Modi PK, Yan P, Hollenbeck BK, Kaufman SR, Borza T, Skolarus TA, Schroeck FR, Ryan AM, Shahinian VB, Herrel LA. Urologist practice structure and quality of prostate cancer care. Urology practice. 2020 Sep 1; 7(5):419-424.

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Objective: To examine three aspects of urologist practice structure that may affect quality of prostate cancer care: practice size, ownership of an intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) device, participation within a multi-specialty group (MSG). Health care reforms focused on improving quality are particularly relevant for prostate cancer given its prevalence and concerns for overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Methods: Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End-Results (SEER)-Medicare linked registry, we examined quality of prostate cancer treatment according to each treating urologist's practice size, type (single-specialty vs. MSG) and ownership of IMRT. Mixed models were used to adjust for patient differences. Results: We identified 22,412 men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer treated by 2,199 urologists during the study. We observed minimal differences for most quality metrics according to practice size, type, and ownership of IMRT. Adherence to all eligible quality metrics was better among MSGs compared to single specialty groups (20.0% adherence versus 18.2%, p = 0.01) whereas there was no significant difference by ownership of IMRT (17.1% adherence in owners versus 18.9% non-owners, p = 0.09). Conclusion: Differences in quality across practice size, type and ownership of IMRT were modest, with substantial room for improvement regardless of practice structure.

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