Publication Abstract

Authors: Shirvani SM, Jiang J, Likhacheva A, Hoffman KE, Shaitelman SF, Caudle A, Buchholz TA, Giordano SH, Smith BD

Title: Trends in Local Therapy Utilization and Cost for Early-Stage Breast Cancer in Older Women: Implications for Payment and Policy Reform.

Journal: Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 95(2):605-16

Date: 2016 Jun 01

Abstract: PURPOSE: Older women with early-stage disease constitute the most rapidly growing breast cancer demographic, yet it is not known which local therapy strategies are most favored by this population in the current era. Understanding utilization trends and cost of local therapy is important for informing the design of bundled payment models as payers migrate away from fee-for-service models. We therefore used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Medicare database to determine patterns of care and costs for local therapy among older women with breast cancer. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Treatment strategy and covariables were determined in 55,327 women age ≥66 with Tis-T2N0-1M0 breast cancer who underwent local therapy between 2000 and 2008. Trends in local therapy were characterized using Joinpoint. Polychotomous logistic regression determined predictors of local therapy. The median aggregate cost over the first 24 months after diagnosis was determined from Medicare claims through 2010 and reported in 2014 dollars. RESULTS: The median age was 75. Local therapy distribution was as follows: 27,896 (50.3%) lumpectomy with external beam radiation, 18,356 (33.1%) mastectomy alone, 6159 (11.1%) lumpectomy alone, 1488 (2.7%) mastectomy with reconstruction, and 1455 (2.6%) lumpectomy with brachytherapy. Mastectomy alone declined from 39.0% in 2000 to 28.2% in 2008, and the use of breast conserving local therapies rose from 58.7% to 68.2%. Mastectomy with reconstruction was more common among the youngest, healthiest patients, whereas mastectomy alone was more common among patients living in rural low-income regions. By 2008, the costs were $36,749 for lumpectomy with brachytherapy, $35,030 for mastectomy with reconstruction, $31,388 for lumpectomy with external beam radiation, $21,993 for mastectomy alone, and $19,287 for lumpectomy alone. CONCLUSIONS: The use of mastectomy alone in older women declined in favor of breast conserving strategies between 2000 and 2008. Using these cost estimates, price points for local therapy bundles can be constructed to incentivize the treatment strategies that confer the highest value.