Publication Abstract

Authors: Wright JD, Neugut AI, Lewin SN, Lu YS, Herzog TJ, Hershman DL

Title: Trends in hospital volume and patterns of referral for women with gynecologic cancers.

Journal: Obstet Gynecol 121(6):1217-25

Date: 2013 Jun

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To estimate trends in hospital volume and referral patterns for women with uterine and ovarian cancer. METHODS: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database was used to identify women aged 65 years or older with ovarian and uterine cancer who underwent surgery from 2000 to 2007. "Volume creep," when a greater number of patients undergo surgery at the same hospitals, and "market concentration," when a similar overall number of patients undergo a procedure but at a smaller number of hospitals, were analyzed. RESULTS: Among 4,522 patients with ovarian cancer, mean hospital volume increased from 3.1 cases during 2000-2001 to 3.4 cases during 2006-2007 (P=.62) suggesting minimal volume creep. Similarly, there was little evidence of market concentration. In 2000-2001, 37.8% of women were treated at the top decile by volume hospitals compared with 41.4% in 2006-2007 (P=.14). In 2006-2007, 201 (63.2%) of the hospitals had an ovarian cancer surgery volume of two or fewer cases. Among 9,908 women with uterine cancer, the mean hospital volume increased slightly from 4.5 in 2000-2001 to 5.4 in 2006-2007 (P=.10). The percentage of patients treated at the top decile by volume of hospitals increased from 40.4% in 2000-2001 to 44.7% in 2006-2007 (P<.001). In 2006-2007, 243 (49.3%) of the hospitals had a uterine cancer surgery volume of two or fewer cases. CONCLUSION: There have been only modest changes in the referral patterns of women with ovarian and uterine cancer. A large number of hospitals have a very low procedural volume.