Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging Is Associated with Increased Medicare Spending in Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance.

Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) may improve prostate cancer risk stratification and decrease the need for repeat biopsies in men on prostate cancer active surveillance (AS). However, the impact of mpMRI on AS-related healthcare spending has not been established.

To characterize the impact of mpMRI on AS-related Medicare expenditures.

Using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare files, we identified men ≥66 yr old with localized prostate cancer diagnosed during 2008-2013.

With a validated algorithm, we classified men into AS with and without mpMRI groups. We then determined Medicare spending on AS in each group using inflation-adjusted, price-standardized Medicare payments for AS-related procedures (ie, prostate-specific antigen [PSA] tests, prostate biopsies, biopsy complications, and mpMRI). Multivariable median regression compared Medicare spending on AS for men who received mpMRI and those who did not.

We identified 9081 men on AS with a median follow-up of 45 mo (interquartile range 29-64 mo). Thirteen percent (N = 1225) received mpMRI. On multivariable median regression, receipt of mpMRI was associated with an additional $447 (95% confidence interval $409-487) in Medicare spending per year. We observed greater frequency of AS-related procedures and higher spending for identical procedures (eg, PSA or prostate biopsy) in the mpMRI group than in the non-mpMRI group (all p <  0.001).

Among Medicare beneficiaries on AS, mpMRI is associated with additional annual Medicare spending. Future studies are needed to determine optimal use of mpMRI during AS to maximize value.

Prostate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps physicians determine which prostate cancers are aggressive and which can be monitored safely. We studied whether using MRI during prostate cancer monitoring (also called active surveillance) resulted in increased healthcare spending. There was a modest increase in spending, but this may be worthwhile if the use of MRI allows physicians to monitor prostate cancer more accurately.

European urology focus. 2019 Apr 25 [Epub ahead of print]

Liam C Macleod, Jonathan G Yabes, Mina M Fam, Jathin Bandari, Michelle Yu, Avinash Maganty, Alessandro Furlan, Christopher P Filson, Benjamin J Davies, Bruce L Jacobs

Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Electronic address: ., Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA., Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ, USA., Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA., Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA., Department of Urology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.