Regional infrastructure tied to inappropriate breast, prostate cancer imaging

the ONA take:

Regional infrastructure could contribute to inappropriate imaging in patients at risk for prostate and breast cancer, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.

Danil Makarov, MD, MHS, of the New York University School of Medicine and fellow researchers user SEER-Medicare data to identify patients with low-risk prostate or breast cancer.

While these two cancers affect different patient populations and therefore should not share an association in imaging, the researchers found a correlation between regional rates, leading them to believe that regional behaviors share common determinants.

They identified 9,2119 men with prostate cancer and 30,398 women with breast cancer in 84 hospital referral regions, with rates of inappropriate imaging found to be 44.4 percent and 41.8 percent, respectively.

Inappropriate prostate cancer imaging rates were associated with those of breast cancer rates at the hospital referral region level. This meant that a man with low-risk prostate cancer had a higher chance of undergoing inappropriate imaging if he lived in a hospital referral region with higher inappropriate breast cancer imaging levels.

“Our findings suggest that practice patterns may be a function of local propensities for health care utilization,” the authors stated. “This is a novel finding with great relevance to cancer policy.”

Regional infrastructure tied to inappropriate breast, prostate cancer imaging
Regional infrastructure could contribute to inappropriate imaging in patients at risk for prostate and breast cancer.
An association of high rates of inappropriate imaging for prostate cancer and breast cancer identified in a study of Medicare beneficiaries suggests that, at the regional level, regional culture and infrastructure could contribute to inappropriate imaging, something policymakers should want to consider as they seek to improve the quality of care and reduce health care spending, according to a study published online by JAMA Oncology.
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