Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Study Finds Conservative Management of Prostate Cancer Varies Among Group Practices

By: Dana A. Elya, MS, RD, CDN
Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Parth K. Modi, MD, MS, of the University of Michigan Medicine, and colleagues identified variations in conservative management among patients with prostate cancer treated within urology practice groups. The study was published in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

Researchers used a sample of Medicare claims from 2010 to 2014. They identified 22,178 men among 350 medical practice groups that were identified as solo, single, specialty, multispecialty, and determined whether or not to have ownership of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) therapy.  All the men were followed for at least 1 year after diagnosis.

There were increasing differences between the fastest and slowest users of conservative management. The highest rate of conservative management was found within multispecialty groups, but during the study period, they did not increase the use as much as other groups did during the same time. Although IMRT ownership was not associated with a lower overall rate of conservative management, there was no difference in the rate of increased use between groups that owned IMRT and groups that did not.

Researchers shared, “Increasing the appropriate use of conservative management for prostate cancer is an important goal for urologists, policymakers, and patients with prostate cancer. While this use is increasing nationally in the United States, there continue to be urology group practices with low rates of use and slow increases in adoption. While urology group practice organization and IMRT ownership are associated with the use of conservative management, additional insight is needed to better understand the existing variation in its adoption.”

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information can be found at

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