The Effect of the Diffusion of the Surgical Robot on the Hospital-level Utilization of Partial Nephrectomy
INTRODUCTION: The rapid diffusion of the surgical robot has been controversial because of the technology's high costs and its disputed marginal benefit. Some, however, have suggested that adoption of the robot may have improved care for patients with renal malignancy by facilitating partial nephrectomy, an underutilized, technically challenging procedure believed to be less morbid than radical nephrectomy. We sought to determine whether institutional acquisition of the robot was associated with increased utilization of partial nephrectomy. METHODS:: We used all payer data from 7 states to identify 21,569 nephrectomies. These patient-level records were aggregated to the hospital-level then merged with the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and publicly available data on timing of robot acquisition. We used a multivariable difference-in-difference model to assess at the hospital-level whether robot acquisition was associated with an increase in the proportion of partial nephrectomy, adjusting for hospital nephrectomy volume, year of surgery, and several additional hospital-level factors. RESULTS:: In the multivariable-adjusted differences-in-differences model, hospitals acquiring a robot between 2001 and 2004 performed a greater proportion of partial nephrectomy in both 2005 (29.9% increase) and 2008 (34.9% increase). Hospitals acquiring a robot between 2005 and 2008 also demonstrated a greater proportion of partial nephrectomy in 2008 (15.5% increase). In addition, hospital nephrectomy volume and urban location were also significantly associated with increased proportion of partial nephrectomy. CONCLUSIONS:: Hospital acquisition of the surgical robot is associated with greater proportion of partial nephrectomy, an underutilized, guideline-encouraged procedure. This is one of the few studies to suggest robot acquisition is associated with improvement in quality of patient care.
Are hospitals "keeping up with the Joneses"?: Assessing the spatial and temporal diffusion of the surgical robot
BACKGROUND: The surgical robot has been widely adopted in the United States in spite of its high cost and controversy surrounding its benefit. Some have suggested that a "medical arms race" influences technology adoption. We wanted to determine whether a hospital would acquire a surgical robot if its nearest neighboring hospital already owned one. METHODS: We identified 554 hospitals performing radical prostatectomy from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statewide Inpatient Databases for seven states. We used publicly available data from the website of the surgical robot's sole manufacturer (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) combined with data collected from the hospitals to ascertain the timing of robot acquisition during year 2001 to 2008. One hundred thirty four hospitals (24%) had acquired a surgical robot by the end of 2008. We geocoded the address of each hospital and determined a hospital's likelihood to acquire a surgical robot based on whether its nearest neighbor owned a surgical robot. We developed a Markov chain method to model the acquisition process spatially and temporally and quantified the "neighborhood effect" on the acquisition of the surgical robot while adjusting simultaneously for known confounders. RESULTS: After adjusting for hospital teaching status, surgical volume, urban status and number of hospital beds, the Markov chain analysis demonstrated that a hospital whose nearest neighbor had acquired a surgical robot had a higher likelihood itself acquiring a surgical robot. (OR=1.71, 95% CI: 1.07-2.72, p=0.02). CONCLUSION: There is a significant spatial and temporal association for hospitals acquiring surgical robots during the study period. Hospitals were more likely to acquire a surgical robot during the robot's early adoption phase if their nearest neighbor had already done so.
National assessment of recommendations from healthcare providers for smoking cessation among adults with cancer
Cancer survivors benefit from evidence-based smoking cessation treatment. A crucial first step in this process is a clinician recommending that the patient quit smoking. However, contemporary delivery of advice to quit among patients with cancer is not well known. In a cross-sectional analysis of all adult smokers included in a prospective population-representative study of US adults, we analyzed the frequency that patients reported receiving advice to quit smoking from a healthcare professional according to reported cancer history (no cancer, tobacco-related cancer, non-tobacco related cancer history). Among an estimated 28.3 million smokers, 9.3% reported a history of cancer, 48.8% of which were tobacco-related cancers. In general, advice to quit was reported by more (67.8%) cancer survivors than those adults without any cancer (56.0%). After adjustment for sociodemographic factors, smokers with a non tobacco-related cancer (0.51, 95% CI 0.32-0.83) and those without any cancer history (0.43, 95% CI 0.30-0.63) were both less likely to report being advised to quit smoking than patients with a tobacco-related cancer history.
Socioeconomic Determinants of the Use of Molecular Testing in Stage IV Colorectal Cancer
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibodies extends life for patients with advanced colorectal cancers (CRCs) whose tumors exhibit wild-type KRAS, but KRAS testing may be underused. We studied the role of socioeconomic factors in the application of KRAS testing. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:We identified subjects with stage IV colorectal adenocarcinoma diagnosed 2010-2015 in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. We used multivariable logistic regression models to evaluate associations between clinical/demographic factors and the rate of KRAS testing. We used multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to assess survival. RESULTS:We identified 37,676 patients with stage IV CRC, 31.1% of whom were tested for KRAS mutations, of those who had documented KRAS testing, 44% were KRAS mutant. Patients were more likely to be tested if they were younger (odds ratio [OR]=5.10 for age 20 to 29 vs. 80+, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.99-6.54, P<0.01), diagnosed more recently (OR=1.92 for 2015 vs. 2010, 95% CI: 1.77-2.08, P<0.01), or lived in an area of high median household income (OR=1.24 for median household income of >$69,311 vs. <$49,265, 95% CI: 1.14-1.35, P<0.01). Patients were less likely to be tested if they had Medicaid (OR=0.83, 95% CI: 0.77-0.88, P<0.01) or were unmarried (OR=0.78, 95% CI: 0.75-0.82, P<0.0001). The risk of death was decreased in patients who received KRAS testing (hazard ratio=0.77, 95% CI: 0.75-0.80, P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS:We found a low rate of KRAS testing in CRC patients with those living in low-income areas less likely to be tested, even after controlling for Medicaid insurance. Our study suggests that socioeconomic disparities persist despite Medicaid insurance.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Urological Care Delivery in the United States
PURPOSE:We examined changes in urological care delivery due to COVID-19 in the U.S. based on patient, practice, and local/regional demographic and pandemic response features. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We analyzed real-world data from the American Urological Association Quality (AQUA) Registry collected from electronic health record systems. Data represented 157 outpatient urological practices and 3,165 providers across 48 U.S. states and territories, including 3,297,721 unique patients, 12,488,831 total outpatient visits and 2,194,456 procedures. The primary outcome measure was the number of outpatient visits and procedures performed (inpatient or outpatient) per practice per week, measured from January 2019 to February 2021. RESULTS:We found large (>50%) declines in outpatient visits from March 2020 to April 2020 across patient demographic groups and states, regardless of timing of state stay-at-home orders. Nonurgent outpatient visits decreased more across various nonurgent procedures (49%-59%) than for procedures performed for potentially urgent diagnoses (38%-52%); surgical procedures for nonurgent conditions also decreased more (43%-79%) than those for potentially urgent conditions (43%-53%). African American patients had similar decreases in outpatient visits compared with Asians and Caucasians, but also slower recoveries back to baseline. Medicare-insured patients had the steepest declines (55%), while those on Medicaid and government insurance had the lowest percentage of recovery to baseline (73% and 69%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:This study provides real-world evidence on the decline in urological care across demographic groups and practice settings, and demonstrates a differential impact on the utilization of urological health services by demographics and procedure type.
Interaction between race and prostate cancer treatment benefit in the Veterans Health Administration
BACKGROUND:Studies have demonstrated that Black men may undergo definitive prostate cancer (CaP) treatment less often than men of other races, but it is unclear whether they are avoiding overtreatment of low-risk disease or experiencing a reduction in appropriate care. The authors' aim was to assess the role of race as it relates to treatment benefit in access to CaP treatment in a single-payer population. METHODS:The authors used the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Corporate Data Warehouse to perform a retrospective cohort study of veterans diagnosed with low- or intermediate-risk CaP between 2011 and 2017. RESULTS:The authors identified 35,427 men with incident low- or intermediate-risk CaP. When they controlled for covariates, Black men had 1.05 times the odds of receiving treatment in comparison with non-Black men (P < .001), and high-treatment-benefit men had 1.4 times the odds of receiving treatment in comparison with those in the low-treatment-benefit group (P < .001). The interaction of race and treatment benefit was significant, with Black men in the high-treatment-benefit category less likely to receive treatment than non-Black men in the same treatment category (odds ratio, 0.89; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS:Although race does appear to influence the receipt of definitive treatment in the VHA, this relationship varies in the context of the patient's treatment benefit, with Black men receiving less definitive treatment in high-benefit situations. The influence of patient race at high treatment benefit levels invites further investigation into the driving forces behind this persistent disparity in this consequential group.
Learning from the "tail end" of de-implementation: the case of chemical castration for localized prostate cancer
BACKGROUND:Men with prostate cancer are often treated with the suppression of testosterone through long-acting injectable drugs termed chemical castration or androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). In most cases, ADT is not an appropriate treatment for localized prostate cancer, indicating low-value care. Guided by the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and the Behavior Change Wheel's Capability, Opportunity, Motivation Model (COM-B), we conducted a qualitative study to identify behavioral determinants of low-value ADT use to manage localized prostate cancer, and theory-based opportunities for de-implementation strategy development. METHODS:We used national cancer registry and administrative data from 2016 to 2017 to examine the variation in low-value ADT use across Veterans Health Administration facilities. Using purposive sampling, we selected high- and low-performing sites to conduct 20 urology provider interviews regarding low-value ADT. We coded transcripts into TDF domains and mapped content to the COM-B model to generate a conceptual framework for addressing low-value ADT practices. RESULTS:Our interview findings reflected provider perspectives on prescribing ADT as low-value localized prostate cancer treatment, including barriers and facilitators to de-implementing low-value ADT. We characterized providers as belonging in 1 of 3 categories with respect to low-value ADT use: 1) never prescribe 2); willing, under some circumstances, to prescribe: and 3) prescribe as an acceptable treatment option. Provider capability to prescribe low-value ADT depended on their knowledge of localized prostate cancer treatment options (knowledge) coupled with interpersonal skills to engage patients in educational discussion (skills). Provider opportunity to prescribe low-value ADT centered on the environmental resources to inform ADT decisions (e.g., multi-disciplinary review), perceived guideline availability, and social roles and influences regarding ADT practices, such as prior training. Provider motivation involved goals of ADT use, including patient preferences, beliefs in capabilities/professional confidence, and beliefs about the consequences of prescribing or not prescribing ADT. CONCLUSIONS:Use of the TDF domains and the COM-B model enabled us to conceptualize provider behavior with respect to low-value ADT use and clarify possible areas for intervention to effect de-implementation of low-value ADT prescribing in localized prostate cancer. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT03579680.
Protocol: A multi-modal, physician-centered intervention to improve guideline-concordant prostate cancer imaging
BACKGROUND:Almost half of Veterans with localized prostate cancer receive inappropriate, wasteful staging imaging. Our team has explored the barriers and facilitators of guideline-concordant prostate cancer imaging and found that (1) patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer have little concern for radiographic staging but rather focus on treatment and (2) physicians trust imaging guidelines but are apt to follow their own intuition, fear medico-legal consequences, and succumb to influence from imaging-avid colleagues. We used a theory-based approach to design a multi-level intervention strategy to promote guideline-concordant imaging to stage incident prostate cancer. METHODS:We designed the Prostate Cancer Imaging Stewardship (PCIS) intervention: a multi-site, stepped wedge, cluster-randomized trial to determine the effect of a physician-focused behavioral intervention on Veterans Health Administration (VHA) prostate cancer imaging use. The multi-level intervention, developed according to the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and Behavior Change Wheel, combines traditional physician behavior change methods with novel methods of communication and data collection. The intervention consists of three components: (1) a system of audit and feedback to clinicians informing individual clinicians and their sites about how their behavior compares to their peers' and to published guidelines, (2) a program of academic detailing with the goal to educate providers about prostate cancer imaging, and (3) a CPRS Clinical Order Check for potentially guideline-discordant imaging orders. The intervention will be introduced to 10 participating geographically distributed study sites. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study is a significant contribution to implementation science, providing VHA an opportunity to ensure delivery of high-quality care at the lowest cost using a theory-based approach. The study is ongoing. Preliminary data collection and recruitment have started; analysis has yet to be performed. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:CliniclTrials.gov NCT03445559. Prospectively registered on February 26, 2018.
Evaluating Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Amongst Practicing Urologists: Analysis of the 2018 American Urological Association Census
OBJECTIVE:To describe factors associated with Quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) participation using 2018 American Urological Association Census data. QIPS have become increasingly important in medicine. However, studies about QIPS in urology suggest low levels of participation, with little known about factors predicting non-participation. METHODS:Results from 2339 census respondents were weighted to estimate 12,660 practicing urologists in the United States. Our primary outcome was participation in QIPS. Predictor variables included demographics, practice setting, rurality, fellowship training, QIPS domains in practice, years in practice, and non-clinical/clinical workload. RESULTS:QIPS participants and non-participants significantly differed in distributions of age (PÂ =Â .0299), gender (PÂ =Â .0013), practice setting (P <.0001), employment (employee vs partner vs owner vs combination; P <.0001), and fellowship training (P <.0001). QIPS participants reported fewer years in practice (21.3 vs 25.9, PÂ =Â .018) and higher clinical (45.2 vs 39.2, PÂ =Â .022) and non-clinical (8.76 vs 5.28, PÂ =Â .002) work hours per week. Non-participation was associated with male gender (ORÂ =Â 2.68, 95% CI 1.03-6.95) and Asian race (ORÂ =Â 2.59, 95% CI 1.27-5.29) for quality programs and private practice settings (ORsÂ =Â 8.72-27.8) for patient safety initiatives. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:QIPS was associated with academic settings. Interventions to increase rates of quality and safety participation should target individual and system-level factors, respectively. Future work should discern barriers to QIPS engagement and its clinical benefits.
COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients with active cancer: Experiences from a major New York City health care system
BACKGROUND:The authors sought to study the risk factors associated with severe outcomes in hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with cancer. METHODS:The authors queried the New York University Langone Medical Center's records for hospitalized patients who were polymerase chain reaction-positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) and performed chart reviews on patients with cancer diagnoses to identify patients with active cancer and patients with a history of cancer. Descriptive statistics were calculated and multivariable logistic regression was used to determine associations between clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics with outcomes, including death and admission to the intensive care unit. RESULTS:A total of 4184 hospitalized SARS CoV-2+ patients, including 233 with active cancer, were identified. Patients with active cancer were more likely to die than those with a history of cancer and those without any cancer history (34.3% vs 27.6% vs 20%, respectively; P < .01). In multivariable regression among all patients, active cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.89; CI, 1.34-2.67; P < .01), older age (OR, 1.06; CI, 1.05-1.06; P < .01), male sex (OR for female vs male, 0.70; CI, 0.58-0.84; P < .01), diabetes (OR, 1.26; CI, 1.04-1.53; P = .02), morbidly obese body mass index (OR, 1.87; CI, 1.24-2.81; P < .01), and elevated D-dimer (OR, 6.41 for value >2300; CI, 4.75-8.66; P < .01) were associated with increased mortality. Recent cancer-directed medical therapy was not associated with death in multivariable analysis. Among patients with active cancer, those with a hematologic malignancy had the highest mortality rate in comparison with other cancer types (47.83% vs 28.66%; P < .01). CONCLUSIONS:The authors found that patients with an active cancer diagnosis were more likely to die from COVID-19. Those with hematologic malignancies were at the highest risk of death. Patients receiving cancer-directed therapy within 3 months before hospitalization had no overall increased risk of death. LAY SUMMARY/UNASSIGNED:Our investigators found that hospitalized patients with active cancer were more likely to die from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than those with a history of cancer and those without any cancer history. Patients with hematologic cancers were the most likely among patients with cancer to die from COVID-19. Patients who received cancer therapy within 3 months before hospitalization did not have an increased risk of death.