Radical Prostatectomy Innovation and Outcomes at Military and Civilian Institutions

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American Journal of Managed Care




Objectives: Limited data are available regarding the impact of the type of healthcare delivery system on technology diffusion and associated clinical outcomes. We assessed the adoption of minimally invasive radical prostatectomy (MIRP), a recent clinical innovation, and whether this adoption altered surgical morbidity for prostate cancer surgery.

Study Design: Retrospective review of administrative data from TRICARE, the healthcare program of the United States Military Health System. Surgery occurred at military hospitals, supported by federal appropriations, or civilian hospitals, supported by hospital revenue.

Methods: We evaluated TRICARE beneficiaries with prostate cancer (International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] code: 185) who received a radical prostatectomy (60.5) between 2005 and 2009. MIRP was identified based on minimally invasive surgery codes (54.21, 17.42). We assessed yearly MIRP utilization, 30-day postoperative complications (Clavien classification system), length of stay, blood transfusion, and long-term urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Results:A total of 3366 men underwent radical prostatectomy at military hospitals compared with 1716 at civilian hospitals, with minimal clinic-demographic differences. MIRP adoption was 30% greater at civilian hospitals. There were fewer blood transfusions (odds ratio, 0.44; P

Conclusions: Compared with military hospitals, civilian hospitals had a greater MIRP adoption during this timeframe, but had comparable surgical morbidity.