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Med Care. 2011 Nov;49(11):999-1006. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e3182364019.

Racial disparities in changing to a high-volume urologist among men with localized prostate cancer.

Author information

1
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. cpollac2@jhmi.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients who receive surgery from high-volume surgeons tend to have better outcomes. Black patients, however, are less likely to receive surgery from high-volume surgeons.

OBJECTIVE:

Among men with localized prostate cancer, we examined whether disparities in use of high-volume urologists resulted from racial differences in patients being diagnosed by high-volume urologists and/or changing to high-volume urologists for surgery.

RESEARCH DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 26,058 black and white men in Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare diagnosed with localized prostate cancer from 1995 to 2005 that underwent prostatectomy. Patients were linked to their diagnosing urologist and a treating urologist (who performed the surgery).

MEASURES:

Diagnosis and receipt of prostatectomy by a high-volume urologist, and changing between diagnosing and treating urologist

RESULTS:

After adjustment for confounders, black men were as likely as white men to be diagnosed by a high-volume urologist; however, they were significantly less likely than white men to be treated by a high-volume urologist [odds ratio 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.67-0.87]. For men diagnosed by a low-volume urologist, 46.0% changed urologists for their surgery. Black men were significantly less likely to change to a high-volume urologist (relative risk ratio 0.61; 95% CI, 0.47-0.79). Racial differences appeared to reflect black and white patients being diagnosed by different urologists and having different rates of changing after being diagnosed by the same urologists.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lower rates of changing to high-volume urologists for surgery among black men contribute to racial disparities in treatment by high-volume surgeons.

PMID:
22005606
PMCID:
PMC3298812
DOI:
10.1097/MLR.0b013e3182364019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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