Monday, February 10, 2014

Intended versus inferred care after PET performed for initial staging in the National Oncologic PET Registry.

J Nucl Med. 2013 Dec;54(12):2024-31


Authors: Hillner BE, Tosteson AN, Tosteson TD, Wang Q, Song Y, Hanna LG, Siegel BA

UNLABELLED: The National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) collected data on intended management before and after PET in cancer patients. We have previously reported that PET was associated with a change in intended management of about one third of patients and was consistent across cancer types. It is uncertain if intended management plans reflect the actual care these patients received. One approach to assess actual care received is using administrative claims to categorize the type and timing of clinical services.

METHODS: NOPR data from 2006 to 2008 were linked to Medicare claims for consenting patients aged 65 y or older undergoing initial-staging PET scanning for bladder, ovarian, pancreatic, small cell lung, or stomach cancers. We determined the 60-d agreement between claims-inferred care and NOPR treatment plans.

RESULTS: Patients (n = 4,661) were assessed, and 30%-52% had metastatic disease. Planned treatments were about two-thirds monotherapy, of which 46% was systemic therapy only, and one-third combinations. Claims paid by 60 d confirmed the NOPR plan of any systemic therapy, radiotherapy, or surgery in 79.3%, 64.7%, and 63.6%, respectively. Single-mode plans were much more often confirmed: systemic therapy in more than 85% of patients with ovarian, pancreatic, and small cell lung cancers and surgery in more than 73% of those with bladder, pancreatic, and stomach cancers. Intended combination treatments had claims for both in only 28% of patients receiving surgery-based combinations and in 55% receiving chemoradiotherapy. About 90% of patients with NOPR-planned systemic therapy had evaluation or management claims from a medical oncologist. An age of less than 75 y was associated more often with confirmation of chemotherapy, less often for radiotherapy but not with confirmation of surgery. Performance status or comorbidity did not explain confirmation rates within action categories, but confirmation rates were higher if the referrer specialized in the planned treatment.

CONCLUSION: Claims confirmations of NOPR intent for initial staging were widely variable but were higher than previously reported for restaging PET, suggesting that measuring change in intended management is a reasonable method for assessing the impact diagnostic tests have on actual care.

PMID: 24221994 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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