Publication Abstract

Authors: Jacobs BL, Zhang Y, Skolarus TA, Wei JT, Montie JE, Schroeck FR, Hollenbeck BK

Title: Managed care and the diffusion of intensity-modulated radiotherapy for prostate cancer.

Journal: Urology 80(6):1236-42

Date: 2012 Dec

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To better understand associations between managed care penetration in health care markets and the adoption of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). METHODS: We used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data to identify men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2001 and 2007 who were treated with radiotherapy (n = 55,162). We categorized managed care penetration in Health Service Areas (HSAs) as low (<3%), intermediate (3%-10%), and high (>10%), and assessed our main outcomes (ie, probability of IMRT adoption, which is the ability of a health care market to deliver IMRT, and IMRT utilization in HSA markets) using a Cox proportional hazards model and Poisson regression model, respectively. RESULTS: Compared with markets with low managed care penetration, populations in highly penetrated HSAs were more racially diverse (25% vs 15% non-white, P <.01), densely populated (2110 vs 145 people/square mile, P <.01), and wealthier (median income, $48,500 vs $31,900, P <.01). The probability of IMRT adoption was greatest in markets with the highest managed care penetration (eg, 0.82 [high] vs 0.72 [low] in 2007, P = .05). Among adopting markets, the use of IMRT increased in all HSA categories. However, relative to markets with low managed care penetration, IMRT use was constrained in markets with the highest penetration (0.69 [high] vs 0.76 [low] in 2007, P <.01). CONCLUSION: Markets with higher managed care penetration demonstrated a greater propensity for acquiring IMRT technology. However, after adopting IMRT, more highly penetrated markets had roughly 7% slower growth in IMRT use during the study period. These findings provide insight into the implications of delivery system reforms for cancer-related technologies.