Navigation Links
Doctors Who 'Self-Refer' to Radiation Clinics Add to Patients' Burden: Study
Date:8/22/2012

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The practice of referring a cancer patient to a radiation clinic with links to the referring doctor can be difficult for patients, a new study finds.

The study focused on urologists in Texas. It found that the practice caused some men with prostate cancer to travel more than three times farther to receive the treatment they needed.

The researchers said the findings call into question this practice, known as physician self-referral, and highlight concerns about the increase in urology-owned radiation oncology practices.

"Travel time to cancer care centers is crucial, especially for older men with advanced disease, because external radiation therapy often requires daily treatment for six to eight weeks," Dr. Colleen Lawton, president-elect of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, said in a news release from the organization. "These patients often need to lean on friends and relatives to help them get to and from these multiple appointments."

Lawton, who is also professor and vice-chairman of the department of radiation oncology at the Froedtert and Medical College Clinical Cancer Center in Milwaukee, said that doctors "must be judicious when proposing treatment options to our patients and appreciate the time and travel investment, including significant transportation and fuel costs, they make when choosing radiation therapy."

In the study, researchers led by Dr. Benjamin Smith, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, looked at 229 urology practices in Texas. They found that 5 percent of the centers provided radiation oncology services (12 centers). The study also showed that 53 percent of the state's population lives within 10 miles of these 12 centers.

However, although these urology-owned practices had multiple clinics, each practice had only one radiation oncology treatment center focused on prostate cancer treatment. As a result, men often could not receive the radiation therapy they needed at the same clinic where they were diagnosed.

Instead, they had to travel more than 26 minutes (a mean distance of 19.7 miles) to the nearest radiation oncology center. This added about 17 minutes to their traveling time.

The researchers pointed out that 28 percent of urologists in Texas currently work in practices that self-refer for radiation oncology services. This model of self-referral is under investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office over concerns that financial incentives could be causing patients to receive more costly, unnecessary or possibly less effective procedures.

The study authors noted their findings are limited because the study only included practices located in Texas. They suggested that more research is needed on how urology-owned self-referral practices also affect patient care, quality of treatment, patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes.

The study is published in the Sept. 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has more about physician self-referral.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Society for Radiation Oncology, news release, August 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Many U.S. Doctors Have Symptoms of Burnout: Survey
2. With Very Sick Infants, Doctors and Parents Often Miscommunicate
3. Nurses as effective as doctors in treatment of HIV patients
4. Doctors can now detect hard-to-diagnose prostate cancer
5. Humanities mini-courses for doctors sharpen thinking and creativity
6. Doctors often dont disclose all possible risks to patients before treatment
7. In muscular dystrophy, what matters to patients and doctors can differ
8. Doctors Spar Over Cholesterol Screening in Kids
9. Doctors Tend to Share Patients With Similar Colleagues
10. Doctors and rheumatoid arthritis patients differ on perception of disease activity
11. U.S. Doctors Embracing Electronic Health Records: Survey
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Doctors Who 'Self-Refer' to Radiation Clinics Add to Patients' Burden: Study
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm ... 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered ... Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is ... Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are ... Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute ... presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon ... beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in concert ... capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and professional ... than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription ... definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis ... four states – Kentucky , New ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ... will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. ... cap sales considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: