Navigation Links
Urology-owned radiation oncology self-referral can increase patients' travel distance for treatment
Date:8/14/2012

Men with prostate cancer in Texas may be driving more than three times farther than needed to obtain radiation oncology treatments for their cancer when treated at a urology-owned radiation oncology practice versus other facilities, according to a study to be published online August 15, 2012, and in the September 1, 2012, print issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics (Red Journal), the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

This study reviewed 229 urology practices in Texas and found that 5 percent (12 centers) offered radiation oncology services, and 53 percent of the state's population lives within 10 miles of these centers. The 12 urology-owned practices were found to have multiple urologic clinics, but each practice has only one radiation oncology treatment center focused on prostate cancer treatment. This often resulted in extended travel times because radiation therapy is not available at the same physical location as the urologic clinic where the patient was initially diagnosed. The mean patient travel distance was found to be 19.7 miles (26.11 minutes) to the urology-owned center versus 5.88 miles (9.15 minutes) to the nearest radiation oncology center.

The patient benefits of this practice model, known as physician self-referral, have been questioned particularly with regard to its impact on increasing health care costs. Self-referral is being investigated by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and others due to concern that financial incentives could steer patients to more costly, unnecessary and/or less effective procedures. This article reinforces concern about the increase in urology-owned radiation oncology practices across the country, and further notes that 28 percent of Texas urologists now work in practices that self-refer for radiation oncology services. According to a national Urology Times survey, published on December 1, 2011, 19 percent of urology groups report owning linear accelerators to provide radiation oncology treatments, and these medical groups refer patients for treatment within their own radiation oncology center.

"Integrated urology-radiation oncology practices are increasingly common in Texas and have the potential to impact patient care. For example, our study illustrates that patients diagnosed by a urologist whose practice owns a radiation treatment facility will, on average, drive three times farther to reach the radiation treatment facility owned by their urologist than they would have to drive to reach the nearest independent radiation treatment facility," said Benjamin D. Smith, MD, a radiation oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and one of the study's authors.

Study authors affirm that their findings are limited to their research area of the state of Texas and recommend additional analysis of how urology-owned self-referral practices affect patient care, quality of treatment and patient satisfaction and outcomes, not just patient travel time.

"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. These patients often need to lean on friends and relatives to help them get to and from these multiple appointments. We 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," said Colleen Lawton, MD, FASTRO, and president-elect of ASTRO. Dr. Lawton is a prostate cancer specialist and professor and vice-chairman of the department of radiation oncology at the Froedtert and Medical College Clinical Cancer Center in Milwaukee.


'/>"/>
Contact: Michelle Kirkwood
press@astro.org
703-286-1600
American Society for Radiation Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Questions Guidelines on Radiation for Older Breast Cancer Patients
2. Radiation after lumpectomy helps prevent need for mastectomy in early stage breast cancer
3. Study: Majority of older, early-stage breast cancer patients benefit from radiation after lumpectomy
4. Standard radiation therapy dose provides pain relief for painful heel spurs
5. ASTRO publishes Safety is No Accident: A Framework for Quality Radiation Oncology and Care
6. Sunburn May Help Rid Body of Radiation-Damaged Cells
7. Accelerated radiation treatment effective for noninvasive breast cancer
8. Progress in quest to reduce use of radiation in treatment of pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma
9. Novel radiation therapy safely treats prostate cancer and lowers the risk of recurrence
10. Limited Radiation May Help Some Kids With Lymphoma
11. RLIP76 contributes to pancreatic cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy and radiation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... This campaign aims to provide a path to improved education ... control and change. , As nearly 795,000 Americans suffering from a new or recurrent ... Plus, with an estimated 129,000 of these people dying from stroke, it’s become our ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and employees ... stories, courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It also ... advocates and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones & Bartlett Learning is ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last week’s media reports ... Yellen and company to wait until March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according ... Robinson College of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at ... on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... House® Project offering a new model of care for living and healing, celebrated ... core values: Meaningful Life in a Real Home provided by Empowered Staff. , “This ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. ... Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan Diseases, today announced that President & ... upcoming investor conferences: SeeThru Equity MicroCap Conference   ... New York City , NY When: Tuesday, May ... Conference   Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 East 42 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... NASHVILLE, Tenn. , May 26, 2016 ... provider of software and analytics, network solutions ... healthcare, today announced it entered into a ... leading provider of outpatient software solutions and ... surgery centers, specialty hospitals and rehabilitation clinics ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , Germany and GERMANTOWN, ... QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: ... licensing and co-development agreement with Therawis Diagnostics GmbH to develop ... be to develop and market PITX2 as a marker to ... high-risk breast cancer patients. "We are pleased to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: