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Urology. 2011 Jul;78(1):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.12.087. Epub 2011 May 23.

Urologist compliance with AUA best practice guidelines for benign prostatic hyperplasia in Medicare population.

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Division of Urology Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.



To improve benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) care, the American Urological Association created the best practice guidelines for BPH management. We evaluated the trends in use of BPH-related evaluative tests and the extent to which urologists comply with the guidelines for these evaluative tests.


From a 5% random sample of Medicare claims from 1999 to 2007, we created a cohort of 10,248 patients with new visits for BPH to 748 urologists. The trends in use of BPH-related testing were determined. After classifying urologists by compliance with the best practice guidelines, the models were fit to determine the differences in the use of BPH-related testing among urologists. Additional models were used to define the extent to which individual BPH-related tests influenced guideline compliance.


The use of most BPH testing increased with time (P<.001) except for prostate-specific antigen (declined; P<.001) and ultrasonography (P=.416). Northeastern and Midwestern urologists were more likely to be in the lowest compliance group compared with Southern and Western urologists (29%, 27%, 13%, and 19%, respectively; P=.01). The testing associated with high guideline compliance included urinalysis and prostate-specific antigen measurement (P<.01 for both). Prostate ultrasonography (P=.03), cystoscopy (P<.01), uroflow (P<.01), and postvoid residual urine volume determination (P=.02) were associated with low guideline compliance. Urodynamics, postvoid residual urine volume, cytology, serum creatinine, and upper tract imaging were not strongly associated with guideline compliance.


Despite the American Urological Association guidelines for BPH care, wide variations in the evaluation and treatment were seen. Improving guideline adherence and reducing variation could improve BPH care quality.

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