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

Craig Evan Pollack, Justin E. Bekelman, Andrew J. Epstein, Kaijun Liao, Yu Ning Wong, Katrina Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
JournalMedical care
Volume49
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

Keywords

  • Provider changing
  • healthcare disparities
  • high volume
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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