Impact of patient choice and hospital competition on patient outcomes after rectal cancer surgery: A national population-based study.

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Han, Lu 
Walker, Kate 
Braun, Michael S 

BACKGROUND: The objective of the current national cohort study was to analyze the correlation between choice and competition on outcomes after cancer surgery in rectal cancer. METHODS: The analysis included all men who underwent rectal cancer surgery in the English National Health Service between March 2015 and April 2019 (n = 13,996). Multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the effect of a rectal cancer surgery center being located in a competitive environment (based on the number of centers within a threshold distance) and being a successful competitor (based on the ability to attract patients from other hospitals) on eight patient-level outcomes: 30- and 90-day emergency readmissions, 30-day re-operation rates, 90-day postoperative mortality, length of stay >14 days, circumferential resection margin status, rates of primary procedure with a permanent stoma, and rates of persistent stoma 18 months after anterior resection. RESULTS: With adjustment for patient characteristics, patients who underwent surgery in centers located in a stronger competitive environment were less likely to have an abdominoperineal excision or a Hartman's procedure (odds ratio [OR], 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-0.97, p = .04). Additionally, individuals who received treatment at hospitals that were successful competitors had a lower risk of a 90-day readmission following rectal cancer surgery (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.76-0.97, p = .03) and were less likely to have a persistent stoma at 18 months after anterior resection (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61-0.93, p = .02). CONCLUSIONS: Hospitals located in areas of high competition are associated with better patient outcomes and improved processes of care for rectal cancer surgery.

cancer surgery, health care markets, hospital competition, patient choice, patient outcomes, Male, Humans, Cohort Studies, Patient Preference, State Medicine, Rectal Neoplasms, Hospitals, Retrospective Studies
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National Institute for Health Research (NIHR300599)