Effect of physician gender and specialty on utilization of hysterectomy in New York, 2001-2005

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 10/2008; 199(4):347.e1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.05.014
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of physician gender and specialty on the utilization of hysterectomy and alternatives to hysterectomy.
The database of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield was abstracted for all claims relating to a hysterectomy procedure or a hysterectomy-associated diagnosis during the 48 consecutive months May 2001-April 2005. Two hundred ninety-five thousand, one hundred forty-eight claim lines were abstracted and analyzed by CPT and diagnostic grouping codes.
One thousand nine hundred seventy-two hysterectomies were performed during the time analyzed, as well as 5077 hysterectomy alternatives. These 7049 procedures represented 2.4% of all coded physician encounters. Male physicians utilize hysterectomy and hysterectomy alternatives at the same rate as female physicians. Physicians who practice gynecology-only or gynecologic oncology utilize laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy more often than their counterparts who practice obstetrics as well as gynecology.
Gender does not influence the rate of hysterectomy for similar clinical diagnoses. Subspecialty physicians utilize laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomies more frequently than general obstetricians and gynecologists.

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    • "To our knowledge, previous studies have focused on the use of various hysterectomy procedures [9] [14] [15] and surveyed surgeon preferences and attitudes toward minimally invasive hysterectomy [3] based on regional samples, limited to selected hospitals, and less relevant to adjustment. The use of nationwide datasets provides an opportunity to identify characteristics of practicing gynecologists that determine the use of LH. "
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