Does high surgeon and hospital surgical volume raise the five-year survival rate for breast cancer? A population-based study.

Department of Economics, National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (Impact Factor: 4.2). 07/2008; 110(2):349-56. DOI: 10.1007/s10549-007-9715-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study sets out to examine the relationship between both surgeon and hospital volume and five-year survival rates for breast cancer patients. We performed Cox proportional hazard regressions on a pooled population-based database linking the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database with the 'cause of death' data file, covering the three-year period from January 1997 to December 1999. Of the 13,360 breast cancer resection patients in our study sample, the five-year survival rates, by surgeon volume, were 77.3% in the high-volume group (>201 cases), 76.9% in the medium-volume group (45-200), and 69.5% in the low-volume group (<or=44). The five-year survival rates, by hospital volume, were 77.3% for high-volume hospitals (>585 cases), 74.5% for medium-volume hospitals (259-585) and 72.1% for low-volume hospitals (<or=258). Cox regression analyses show that the risk of death for patients treated by low-volume surgeons was up to 1.305 times (P < 0.001) as high as the risk for those treated by high-volume surgeons. Similarly, the risk of death for patients whose resections had been performed in low-volume hospitals was 1.484 times (P < 0.001) as high as the risk for those whose resections had been performed in high-volume hospitals. High surgeon or hospital volume contributes significantly to patient outcomes and may be regarded as an overall indicator of high treatment quality; we therefore strongly recommend that the healthcare authorities reveal to the public all of the relevant information on provider performance and caseloads in order to assist them to make the optimum choice when surgery becomes necessary.

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    ABSTRACT: For low-volume tumours, high surgical hospital volume is associated with better survival. For high-volume tumours like breast cancer, this association is unclear. The aim of this study is to determine to what extent the yearly surgical hospital breast cancer volume is associated with overall survival. All patients, diagnosed with primary invasive non-metastatic breast cancer in the period 2001-2005, were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Hospitals were grouped by their annual volume of surgery for invasive breast cancer. Cox proportional hazard models were used including patient and tumour characteristics as covariates. Follow-up was completed until the 1st of February 2013. Primary endpoint was 10-year overall survival rate. In total, 58,982 patients with invasive non-metastatic breast cancer were diagnosed during the period 2001-2005. Hospitals were grouped by their (mean) annual surgical volume: <75 (n = 19), 75-99 (n = 30), 100-149 (n = 29), 150-199 (n = 9) and ≥200 (n = 14). The 10-year observed survival rates were 77, 81, 80, 82 and 82 %, respectively. After case-mix adjustment, patients in low-volume hospitals had a HR of 1.09 (<75 vs. ≥200; 95 % CI 1.03-1.15). Survival was significantly higher for lobular carcinoma and for diagnosis in the most recent year (2005). Being a male, having a higher age at diagnosis, a higher tumour grade, a larger tumour size, a higher number of positive lymph nodes, an earlier year of diagnosis and a lower SES resulted in a reduced survival and influenced death, all to a larger extent than surgical volume did. In the Netherlands, surgical hospital volume influences 10-year overall survival only marginally and far less than patient and tumour characteristics. No difference in survival was revealed for invasive non-metastatic breast cancer patients in hospitals with 75-99 operations per year compared with hospitals with over 200 operations per year.
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Criteria for future accreditation of breast cancer centres in Belgium will be mainly based on the case load per surgeon or per centre. We would like to argue that the prospective collection of relevant data and the analysis of treatment related outcome derived from these data is feasible and should be the ultimate criterion for quality assessment and thus for accreditation since outcome is a more direct measurement of quality.Methods: Data were prospectively collected on 715 invasive non metastatic breast cancers between 2002 and 2007 treated according to standard, best-evidence protocols in the setting of a large district hospital. Univariate and multivariate survival analysis were performed and compared to national and international databases.Results: 5 year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in our series were respectively 77 and 84%. In the multivariate analysis of DFS, only her-2-neu status (her-2-neu positivity being associated with a poor prognosis) and age (older age being a worse prognostic factor) were statistically significant prognostic factors. For OS, her-2-neu, age, and positive nodes were statistically significant prognostic factors. The outcome is comparable to other data sets.Conclusion: Centres dedicated to the care of women with breast cancer have the moral duty to produce outcome based results of their treatment. This report shows that such a collection of data is feasible and can be imposed as a prerequisite for accreditation. We also argue that outcome based data of treatment are a more solid base for quality assurance than case load.
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    ABSTRACT: Disparities in quality of care have always been a major challenge in health care. Providing information to patients may help to narrow such disparities. However, the relationship between level of patient information and outcomes remains to be explored. More importantly, would better-informed patients have better outcomes through their choice of higher quality providers? We hypothesize that medical professionals may have better outcomes than nonmedical professionals following definitive surgery for colorectal cancer (CRC), and their choice of provider may mediate this relationship.We identified 61,728 patients with CRC receiving definitive surgery between 2005 and 2011 from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Medical professionals were identified via the registry for medical personnel. Indicators for surgical outcome such as emergency room (ER) visits within 30 days, medical expenses, length of hospital stay (LOS), and 5-year mortality were analyzed by using fixed and random effects multivariate regression models.Compared with nonmedical personnel CRC patients, a greater proportion of medical personnel received definitive surgery from higher volume surgeons (median 390 vs 311 within the study period) and/or in higher volume hospitals (median 1527 vs 1312 within the study period). CRC patients who are medical personnel had a shorter median LOS (12 vs 14 days), lower median medical expenses (112,687 vs 121,332 New Taiwan dollars), a lower ER visit rate within 30 days (11.3% vs 13.0%), and lower 5-year mortality. After adjusting for patient characteristics, medical personnel had a significantly lower hazard of 5-year mortality, and were significantly more likely to have a LOS shorter than 14 days than their nonmedical personnel counterparts. However, after adjusting for patient and provider characteristics, while medical personnel were significantly less likely to have a long LOS, no significant difference was observed in 5-year mortality between the 2 groups.Medical personnel did have a significantly better survival outcome and a shorter length of stay following definitive surgery than nonmedical personnel patients. The outcome disparities can be partially explained by characteristics of their treatment providers. The findings may serve as an important reference for better understanding how information may narrow gaps in quality of care through better choice of providers.