HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Assessment of Care Cascades Following Low-Value Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing Among Veterans Dually Enrolled in the US Veterans Health Administration and Medicare Systems.
Pickering AN, Zhao X, Sileanu FE, Lovelace EZ, Rose L, Schwartz AL, Oakes AH, Hale JA, Schleiden LJ, Gellad WF, Fine MJ, Thorpe CT, Radomski TR. Assessment of Care Cascades Following Low-Value Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing Among Veterans Dually Enrolled in the US Veterans Health Administration and Medicare Systems. JAMA Network Open. 2022 Dec 1; 5(12):e2247180.
Older US veterans commonly receive health care outside of the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) through Medicare, which may increase receipt of low-value care and subsequent care cascades.
To characterize the frequency, cost, and source of low-value prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and subsequent care cascades among veterans dually enrolled in the VHA and Medicare and to determine whether receiving a PSA test through the VHA vs Medicare is associated with more downstream services.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:
This retrospective cohort study used VHA and Medicare administrative data from fiscal years (FYs) 2017 to 2018. The study cohort consisted of male US veterans dually enrolled in the VHA and Medicare who were aged 75 years or older without a history of prostate cancer, elevated PSA, prostatectomy, radiation therapy, androgen deprivation therapy, or a urology visit. Data were analyzed from December 15, 2020, to October 20, 2022.
Receipt of low-value PSA testing.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
Differences in the use and cost of cascade services occurring 6 months after receipt of a low-value PSA test were assessed for veterans who underwent low-value PSA testing in the VHA and Medicare compared with those who did not, adjusted for patient- and facility-level covariates.
This study included 300 393 male US veterans at risk of undergoing low-value PSA testing. They had a mean (SD) age of 82.6 (5.6) years, and the majority (264 411 [88.0%]) were non-Hispanic White. Of these veterans, 36 459 (12.1%) received a low-value PSA test through the VHA, which was associated with 31.2 (95% CI, 29.2 to 33.2) additional cascade services per 100 veterans and an additional $24.5 (95% CI, $20.8 to $28.1) per veteran compared with the control group. In the same cohort, 17 981 veterans (5.9%) received a PSA test through Medicare, which was associated with 39.3 (95% CI, 37.2 to 41.3) additional cascade services per 100 veterans and an additional $35.9 (95% CI, $31.7 to $40.1) per veteran compared with the control group. When compared directly, veterans who received a PSA test through Medicare experienced 9.9 (95% CI, 9.7 to 10.1) additional cascade services per 100 veterans compared with those who underwent testing within the VHA.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
The findings of this cohort study suggest that US veterans dually enrolled in the VHA and Medicare commonly experienced low-value PSA testing and subsequent care cascades through both systems in FYs 2017 and 2018. Care cascades occurred more frequently through Medicare compared with the VHA. These findings suggest that low-value PSA testing has substantial downstream implications for patients and may be especially challenging to measure when care occurs in multiple health care systems.