Provider variability in intensity modulated radiation therapy utilization among Medicare beneficiaries in the United States
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractIntensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a radiation therapy (RT) modality that improves dose conformality compared with conventional external beam RT and is now used in the treatment of approximately 40% of patients. 1 Although there is a well-documented improved side effect profile in using IMRT to treat both prostate and head and neck cancers,2,3 the benefits of routine IMRT in other disease sites are less established. Moreover, there are some disadvantages to ubiquitous IMRT utilization, including a relatively high price,4 the potential for near misses, and a large volume of low-dose normal tissue exposure with emerging implications such of beam path toxicity and second malignancies.5,6 The Medicare Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File (POSPUF) was first created in 2014 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and contains data on services rendered by physicians to Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. In this study, we used the POSPUF to analyze the variability in IMRT use among radiation oncology providers.