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Ami Vyas, S. Suresh Madhavan and Usha Sambamoorthi

Background: Differences in Medicare expenditures during the initial phase of cancer care among rural and medically underserved elderly women with breast cancer (BC) and those from a nationally representative cohort have not been reported. The objective of this study was to determine Medicare expenditures during the initial phase of care among women in West Virginia (WV) who were Medicare beneficiaries with BC and compare them with national estimates. The magnitude of differences in these expenditures was also determined by using a linear decomposition technique. Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted using the WV Cancer Registry-Medicare database and the SEER-Medicare database. Our study cohorts consisted of elderly women aged ≥66 years diagnosed with incident BC in 2003 to 2006. Medicare expenditures during the initial year after BC diagnosis were derived from all of the Medicare files. Generalized linear regressions were performed to model expenditures, after controlling for predisposing factors, enabling resources, need, healthcare use, and external healthcare environmental factors. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition was conducted to examine the proportion of the differences in the average expenditures explained by independent variables included in the model. Results: Average Medicare expenditures for the WV Medicare cohort during the initial phase of BC care were $25,626 compared with $29,502 for the SEER-Medicare cohort; a difference of $3,876. In the multivariate regression, this difference decreased to $708 and remained significant. Only 16% of the differences in the average expenditures between the cohorts were explained by the independent variables included in the model. Enabling resources (6.86%), healthcare use (7.55%), and external healthcare environmental factors (3.33%) constituted most of the explained portion of the differences in the average expenditures. Conclusions: The difference in average Medicare expenditures between the elderly beneficiaries with BC from a rural state (WV) and their national counterparts narrowed but remained significantly lower after multivariate adjustment. The explained portion of this difference was mainly driven by enabling and healthcare use factors, whereas 84% of this difference remained unexplained.

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Amit D. Raval, Suresh Madhavan, Malcolm D. Mattes, Mohamad Salkini and Usha Sambamoorthi

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of cancer diagnosis on noncancer hospitalizations (NCHs) by comparing these hospitalizations between the precancer and postcancer periods in a cohort of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries with incident prostate cancer. Methods: A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted using the SEER-Medicare linked database for 2000 through 2010. The study cohort consisted of 57,489 elderly men (aged ≥67 years) with incident prostate cancer. NCHs were identified in 6 periods (t1–t6) before and after the incidence of prostate cancer. Each period consisted of 120 days. For each period, NCHs were defined as inpatient admissions with primary diagnosis codes not related to prostate cancer, prostate cancer–related procedures, or bowel, sexual, and urinary dysfunction. Bivariate and multivariate comparisons on rates of NCHs between the precancer and postcancer periods accounted for the repeated measures design. Results: The rate of NCHs was higher during the postcancer period (5.1%) compared with the precancer period (3.2%). In both unadjusted and adjusted models, elderly men were 37% (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 95% CI, 1.32, 1.41) and 38% (adjusted OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.33, 1.46) more likely to have any NCHs during the postcancer period compared with the precancer period. Conclusions: Elderly men with prostate cancer had a significant increase in the risk of NCHs after the diagnosis of prostate cancer. This study highlights the need to design interventions for reducing the excess NCHs after prostate cancer diagnosis among elderly men.

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Monira Alwhaibi, Usha Sambamoorthi, Suresh Madhavan, Thomas Bias, Kimberly Kelly and James Walkup

Background: Elderly individuals (age >65 years) with cancer are at high risk for newly diagnosed depression after a cancer diagnosis. It is not known whether the risk of newly diagnosed depression varies by cancer type. Purpose: To examine the variations in the risk of newly diagnosed depression by cancer type among elderly individuals with cancer. Methods: This study used a retrospective cohort study design and data from the linked SEER-Medicare files. Elderly individuals (age >65 years) with incident breast, colorectal (CRC), and prostate cancers diagnosed between 2007 and 2011 (N=53,821) were followed for 12 months after cancer diagnosis. Depression diagnosis was identified during the 12-month follow-up period after cancer diagnosis using the ICD-9-Clinical Modification. Complementary log–log regression was used to examine the association between cancer type and risk of newly diagnosed depression after adjusting for other risk factors for depression. Results: We found a significantly higher percentage of newly diagnosed depression among women with CRC compared with those with breast cancer (5.8% vs 3.9%), and among men with CRC compared with those with prostate cancer (3.4% vs 1.6%). In the adjusted analysis, women with CRC had a 28.0% higher risk of newly diagnosed depression compared with women with breast cancer (adjusted risk ratio [ARR], 1.28; 95% CI, 1.12–1.46) and men with CRC had a 104.0% higher risk of newly diagnosed depression compared with those with prostate cancer (ARR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.65–2.51). Conclusions: Our findings identified cancer types associated with a high risk of newly diagnosed depression after cancer diagnosis, who might benefit from routine depression screening to help in its early detection and treatment.

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Ami Vyas, S. Suresh Madhavan, Usha Sambamoorthi, Xiaoyun (Lucy) Pan, Michael Regier, Hannah Hazard and Sita Kalidindi

Background: Understanding the patterns of healthcare utilization and costs during the initial phase of care (12 months after breast cancer [BC] diagnosis) in older women (aged ≥65 years) is crucial in the allocation of Medicare resources. The objective of this study was to determine healthcare utilization and costs during the initial phase of care in older, female, Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries diagnosed with BC, and to determine the factors associated with higher costs. Methods: A retrospective observational study using the SEER-Medicare linked database was conducted in 69,307 women aged ≥66 years diagnosed with primary incident BC in 2003–2009 to determine healthcare utilization, average costs, and costs for specific services during the initial phase of care. Generalized linear model regression was conducted to identify the factors associated with higher costs in a multivariate framework. Results: A total of 96% of women were treated with surgery during the initial phase of BC care, whereas 21% and 54% underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, respectively. Costs during the initial phase of care totalled $28,075 in 2012 USD, comprising $13,344 for physician services and $7,456 for outpatient services. Factors associated with higher costs during the initial phase of care were younger age (66–69 years), African American race, higher household income, advanced stages of BC, initial BC treatment, higher number of primary care physician visits, and presence of comorbidities and/or a mental condition. Conclusions: The economic burden of BC is substantial during the initial phase of care. Physician and outpatient services accounted for the highest proportion of costs. Predisposing factors, need-related factors, healthcare use, and external environmental healthcare factors significantly predicted costs during the initial phase of care.

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Traci LeMasters, S. Suresh Madhavan, Usha Sambamoorthi, Hannah W. Hazard-Jenkins, Kimberly M. Kelly and Dustin Long

Background: This study examined receipt of guideline-concordant care (GCC) according to evidence-based treatment guidelines and quality measures and specific types of treatment among older women with breast cancer. Patients and Methods: A total of 142,433 patients aged ≥66 years diagnosed with stage I–III breast cancer between 2007 and 2011 were identified in the SEER-Medicare linked database. Algorithms considering cancer characteristics and the appropriate course of care as per guidelines versus actual care received determined receipt of GCC. Multivariable logistic regression estimated the likelihood of GCC and specific types of treatment for women aged ≥75 versus 66 to 74 years. Results: Overall, 39.7% of patients received GCC. Patients diagnosed at stage II or III, with certain preexisting conditions, and of nonwhite race were less likely to receive GCC. Patients with hormone-negative tumors, higher grade tumors, and greater access to oncology care resources were more likely to receive GCC. Patients aged ≥75 years were approximately 40% less likely to receive GCC or adjuvant endocrine therapy, 78% less likely to have any surgery, 61% less likely to have chemotherapy, and about half as likely to have radiation therapy than those aged 66 to 74 years. Conclusions: Fewer than half of older women with breast cancer received GCC, with the lowest rates observed among the oldest age groups, racial/ethnic minorities, and women with later-stage cancers. However, patients with more aggressive tumor characteristics and greater access to oncology resources were more likely to receive GCC. Considering that older women have the highest incidence of breast cancer and that many are diagnosed at stages requiring more aggressive treatment, efforts to increase rates of earlier stage diagnosis and the development of less toxic treatments could help improve GCC and survival while preserving quality of life.