Publication Abstract

Authors: Schroeck FR, Kaufman SR, Jacobs BL, Skolarus TA, Zhang Y, Hollenbeck BK

Title: Technology diffusion and prostate cancer quality of care.

Journal: Urology 84(5):1066-72

Date: 2014 Nov

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association of technological capacity with prostate cancer quality of care. Technological capacity was conceptualized as a market's ability to provide prostate cancer treatment with new technology, including robotic prostatectomy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked database from 2004 to 2009 to identify men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer (n = 46,274). We measured technological capacity as the number of providers performing robotic prostatectomy or IMRT per population in a health care market. We used multilevel logistic regression analysis to assess the association of technological capacity with receiving quality care according to a set of nationally endorsed quality measures, while adjusting for patient and market characteristics. RESULTS: Overall, our findings were mixed with only subtle differences in quality of care comparing high-tech with low-tech markets. High robotic prostatectomy capacity was associated with better adherence to some quality measures, such as avoiding unnecessary bone scans (79.8% vs 73.0%; P = .003) and having follow-up with urologists (67.7% vs 62.6%; P = .023). However, for most measures, neither high robotic prostatectomy nor high-IMRT capacity was associated with significant increases in adherence rates. In fact, for 1 measure (treatment by a high-volume provider), high-IMRT capacity was associated with lower performance (23.4% vs 28.5%; P <.001). CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that new technology is not clearly associated with higher quality of care. To improve quality, more specific efforts will be needed.