Authors: Lowrance WT, Eastham JA, Yee DS, Laudone VP, Denton B, Scardino PT, Elkin EB
Title: Costs of medical care after open or minimally invasive prostate cancer surgery: a population-based analysis.
Journal: Cancer 118(12):3079-86
Date: 2012 Jun 15
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that minimally invasive radical prostatectomy (MRP) and open radical prostatectomy (ORP) have similar short-term clinical and functional outcomes. MRP with robotic assistance is generally more expensive than ORP, but it is not clear whether subsequent costs of care vary by approach. METHODS: In the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry linked with Medicare claims, men aged 66 years or older who received MRP or ORP in 2003 through 2006 for prostate cancer were identified. Total cost of care was estimated as the sum of Medicare payments from all claims for hospital care, outpatient care, physician services, home health and hospice care, and durable medical equipment in the first year from the date of surgical admission. The impact of surgical approach on costs was estimated, controlling for patient and disease characteristics. RESULTS: Of 5445 surgically treated prostate cancer patients, 4454 (82%) had ORP and 991 (18%) had MRP. Mean total first-year costs were more than $1200 greater for MRP compared with ORP ($16,919 vs $15,692; P = .08). Controlling for patient and disease characteristics, MRP was associated with 2% greater mean total payments, but this difference was not statistically significant. First-year costs were greater for men who were older, black, lived in the Northeast, had lymph node involvement, more advanced tumor stage, or greater comorbidity. CONCLUSIONS: In this population-based cohort of older men, MRP and ORP had similar economic outcomes. From a payer's perspective, any benefits associated with MRP may not translate to net savings compared with ORP in the first year after surgery.