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Title: Use of Bone Scan During Initial Prostate Cancer Workup, Downstream Procedures, and Associated Medicare Costs

Purpose: For patients with a high likelihood of having metastatic disease (high-risk prostate cancer), bone scan is the standard, guideline-recommended test to look for bony metastasis. We quantified the use of bone scans and downstream procedures, along with associated costs, in patients with high-risk prostate cancer, and their use in low- and intermediate-risk patients for whom these tests are not recommended. Methods and Materials: Patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database diagnosed with prostate cancer from 2004 to 2007 were included. Prostate specific antigen (PSA), Gleason score, and clinical T stage were used to define D'Amico risk categories. We report use of bone scans from the date of diagnosis to the earlier of treatment or 6 months. In patients who underwent bone scans, we report use of bone-specific x-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and bone biopsy within 3 months after bone scan. Costs were estimated using 2012 Medicare reimbursement rates. Results: In all, 31% and 48% of patients with apparent low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer underwent a bone scan; of these patients, 21% underwent subsequent x-rays, 7% CT, and 3% MRI scans. Bone biopsies were uncommon. Overall, <1% of low- and intermediate-riskmore » patients were found to have metastatic disease. The annual estimated Medicare cost for bone scans and downstream procedures was $11,300,000 for low- and intermediate-risk patients. For patients with apparent high-risk disease, only 62% received a bone scan, of whom 14% were found to have metastasis. Conclusions: There is overuse of bone scans in patients with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancers, which is unlikely to yield clinically actionable information and results in a potential Medicare waste. However, there is underuse of bone scans in high-risk patients for whom metastasis is likely.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (United States)
  2. Department of Health Services Policy and Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (United States)
  3. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22416569
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 89; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; BIOPSY; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; COST RECOVERY; DIAGNOSIS; EPIDEMIOLOGY; HAZARDS; MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE; METASTASES; NEOPLASMS; NMR IMAGING; PATIENTS; PROSTATE; SKELETON