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For-profit hospital ownership status and use of brachytherapy after breast-conserving surgery

  • Sounok Sen
    Affiliations
    Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale Cancer Center and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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  • Pamela R. Soulos
    Affiliations
    Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale Cancer Center and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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  • Jeph Herrin
    Affiliations
    Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale Cancer Center and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Health Research & Educational Trust, Chicago, IL

    Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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  • Kenneth B. Roberts
    Affiliations
    Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale Cancer Center and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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  • James B. Yu
    Affiliations
    Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale Cancer Center and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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  • Beth-Ann Lesnikoski
    Affiliations
    JFK Medical Center, Atlantis, FL
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  • Joseph S. Ross
    Affiliations
    JFK Medical Center, Atlantis, FL

    Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, New Haven, CT

    Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT
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  • Harlan M. Krumholz
    Affiliations
    Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, New Haven, CT

    Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT

    Section of Health Policy and Administration, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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  • Cary P. Gross
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Cary P. Gross, MD, Yale University School of Medicine, Primary Care Center, PO Box 208025, New Haven, CT 06520.
    Affiliations
    Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale Cancer Center and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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Published:December 16, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2013.12.009

      Background

      Little is known about the relationship between operative care for breast cancer at for-profit hospitals and subsequent use of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). Among Medicare beneficiaries, we examined whether hospital ownership status is associated with the use of breast brachytherapy—a newer and more expensive modality—as well as overall RT.

      Methods

      We conducted a retrospective study of female Medicare beneficiaries who received breast-conserving surgery for invasive breast cancer in 2008 and 2009. We assessed the relationship between hospital ownership and receipt of brachytherapy or overall RT by using hierarchical generalized linear models.

      Results

      The sample consisted of 35,118 women, 8.0% of whom had breast-conserving operations at for-profit hospitals. Among patients who received RT, those who underwent operation at for-profit hospitals were more likely to receive brachytherapy (20.2%) than patients treated at not-for-profit hospitals (15.2%; odds ratio [OR] for for-profit versus not-for-profit: 1.50; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.23–1.84; P < .001). Among women aged 66–79 years, there was no relationship between hospital ownership status and overall use of RT. Among women ages 80–94 years of age—the group least likely to benefit from RT due to shorter life expectancy—undergoing breast-conserving operations at a for-profit hospital was associated with greater overall use of RT (OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.03–1.45, P = .03) and brachytherapy use (OR 1.66; 95% CI 1.18–2.34, P = .003).

      Conclusion

      Operative care at for-profit hospitals was associated with increased use of the newer and more expensive RT modality, brachytherapy. Among the oldest women who are least likely to benefit from RT, operative care at a for-profit hospital was associated with greater overall use of RT, with this difference largely driven by the use of brachytherapy.
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