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Davies L.,Veterans Affairs Outcomes Group | Davies L.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Rhodes L.A.,University of Washington | Grossman D.C.,Center for Health Studies | And 2 more authors.
Laryngoscope | Year: 2010

Objectives/Hypothesis: To describe patterns of patient involvement in head and neck cancer decision making. Study Design: Prospective longitudinal ethnography of otolaryngology patients making treatment decisions. Methods: Grounded theory analysis of verbatim transcripts and original voice recordings from: 1) participant-driven diaries, 2) participants' office visits with their physicians, and 3) semistructured interviews completed after a treatment decision had been made. Results: Patients with serious illness and experiencing considerable pain, discomfort, or alteration in the ability to perform activities of daily living, and who fear for their life, do not make decisions in a way that adheres to the conventional model of decision making, which presumes a sequential, office-based interaction with clear patient autonomy. These patients have the ability to interpret information they receive during office visits, but they describe making a treatment decision as "deciding to do something" not choosing a specific treatment. This group also describes "trust" or "confidence" in the physician as the most important factor in making a decision, not the type or amount of information received. They move through providers toward treatment in a linear fashion, from one physician specialty to the next, usually without doubling back to revisit previous decisions or discussions. Conclusions: Decision making in serious illness unfolds differently than in less serious problems. The conventional model does not fit this patient population, and reliance on trust of the physician figures prominently. Decision support should be aimed at physician decision making, promoting explicit incorporation of patient-specific data into the process. Copyright © 2010 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc. Source


Davis M.A.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Sirovich B.E.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Sirovich B.E.,Veterans Affairs Outcomes Group | Weeks W.B.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
Health Services Research | Year: 2010

Objective. To investigate national utilization and expenditures on chiropractic care between 1997 and 2006. Data Source. The nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Study Design. We performed descriptive analyses and generated national estimates from data obtained from U.S. adult (≥18 years) MEPS respondents who reported having visited a chiropractor (annual sample size between 789 and 1,082). For each year, we examined the estimated total national expenditure, the total number of U.S. adults who received chiropractic care, the total number of ambulatory visits to U.S. chiropractors, and the inflation-adjusted charges and expenditures per U.S. adult chiropractic patient. Principal Findings. The total number of U.S. adults who visited a chiropractor increased 57 percent from 7.7 million in 2000 to 12.1 million in 2003. From 1997 to 2006, the inflation-adjusted national expenditures on chiropractic care increased 56 percent from U.S.$3.8 billion to U.S.$5.9 billion. Inflation-adjusted total mean expenditures per patient and expenditures per office visit remained unchanged. Conclusion. The large increase in U.S. adult expenditures on chiropractic care between 1997 and 2006 was due to a 57 percent increase in the total number of U.S. adult chiropractic patients that occurred from 2000 to 2003. From 2003 to 2006, the total number of U.S. adult chiropractic patients has remained stable. © Health Research and Educational Trust. Source


Schroeck F.R.,University of Michigan | Schroeck F.R.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center | Schroeck F.R.,Veterans Affairs Outcomes Group | Kaufman S.R.,University of Michigan | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Urology | Year: 2015

Purpose We evaluated whether patients with prostate cancer who received best care according to a set of 5 nationally endorsed quality measures had decreased treatment related morbidity and improved cancer control. Materials and Methods In this retrospective cohort study we included 38,055 men from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results)-Medicare database treated for localized prostate cancer between 2004 and 2010. We determined whether each patient received best care, defined as care adherent to all applicable measures. We measured associations of best care with the need for interventions, addressing treatment related morbidity, and with the need for secondary cancer therapy using Cox proportional hazards models. Results Only 3,412 men (9.0%) received best care. Five years after treatment these men and men who did not receive best care had a similar likelihood of undergoing procedures for urinary morbidity (prostatectomy subset 10.7% vs 12.9%, p = 0.338) and secondary cancer therapy (prostatectomy for high risk prostate cancer subset 40.9% vs 37.3%, p = 0.522). However, they were more likely to be treated with a procedure for sexual morbidity (prostatectomy 17.3% vs 10.8%, p <0.001). Similar trends were observed in men treated with radiotherapy. Conclusions Overall men who received best care did not fare better in regard to treatment related morbidity or cancer control. Collectively our findings suggest that the current process of care measures are not tightly linked to outcomes and further research is needed to identify better measures that are meaningful and important to patients. © 2015 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Source


Song Y.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Skinner J.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Skinner J.,Dartmouth College | Skinner J.,National Bureau of Economic Research | And 4 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2010

Background: Current methods of risk adjustment rely on diagnoses recorded in clinical and administrative records. Differences among providers in diagnostic practices could lead to bias. Methods: We used Medicare claims data from 1999 through 2006 to measure trends in diagnostic practices for Medicare beneficiaries. Regions were grouped into five quintiles according to the intensity of hospital and physician services that beneficiaries in the region received. We compared trends with respect to diagnoses, laboratory testing, imaging, and the assignment of Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs) among beneficiaries who moved to regions with a higher or lower intensity of practice. Results: Beneficiaries within each quintile who moved during the study period to regions with a higher or lower intensity of practice had similar numbers of diagnoses and similar HCC risk scores (as derived from HCC coding algorithms) before their move. The number of diagnoses and the HCC measures increased as the cohort aged, but they increased to a greater extent among beneficiaries who moved to regions with a higher intensity of practice than among those who moved to regions with the same or lower intensity of practice. For example, among beneficiaries who lived initially in regions in the lowest quintile, there was a greater increase in the average number of diagnoses among those who moved to regions in a higher quintile than among those who moved to regions within the lowest quintile (increase of 100.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 89.6 to 112.1; vs. increase of 61.7%; 95% CI, 55.8 to 67.4). Moving to each higher quintile of intensity was associated with an additional 5.9% increase (95% CI, 5.2 to 6.7) in HCC scores, and results were similar with respect to laboratory testing and imaging. Conclusions: Substantial differences in diagnostic practices that are unlikely to be related to patient characteristics are observed across U.S. regions. The use of clinical or claims-based diagnoses in risk adjustment may introduce important biases in comparative-effectiveness studies, public reporting, and payment reforms. Copyright © 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source


Woloshin S.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Woloshin S.,Veterans Affairs Outcomes Group | Schwartz L.M.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Schwartz L.M.,Veterans Affairs Outcomes Group | And 3 more authors.
Annals of the American Thoracic Society | Year: 2014

Rationale: Standard radiology report forms do not guide ordering clinicians toward evidence-based practice. Objectives: To test an enhanced radiology report that estimates the probability that a pulmonary nodule is malignant and provides explicit, professional guideline recommendations. Methods: Anonymous, institutional review board-approved, internet-based survey of all clinicians with privileges at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center comparing a standard versus an enhanced chest computed tomography report for a 65-year-old former smoker with an incidentally detected 7-mm pulmonary nodule. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 43% (n = 447) of 1045 eligible clinicians answered patient management questions after reading a standard and then an enhanced radiology report (which included the probability of malignancy and Fleischner Society guideline recommendations). With the enhanced report, more clinicians chose the correct management strategy (72% with enhanced versus 32% with standard report [40% difference; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 35-45%]), appropriately made fewer referrals to pulmonary for opinions or biopsy (21 vs. 41% [-40% difference; 95% CI = -25 to -16%]), ordered fewer positron emission tomography scans (3 versus 13%; -10% difference; 95% CI = -13 to -7%), and fewer computed tomography scans outside the recommended time interval (2 versus 7%; -5% difference; 95% CI = -7 to -2%). Most clinicians preferred or strongly preferred the enhanced report, and thought they had a better understanding of the nodule's significance and management. Conclusions: An enhanced radiology report with probability estimates for malignancy and management recommendations was associated with improved clinicians' response to incidentally detected small pulmonary nodules in an internet-based survey of clinicians at one academic medical center, and was strongly preferred. The utility of this approach should be tested next in clinical practice. Source

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