Guideline Compliance Regarding Chest Imaging of Suspicious cT1 Renal Masses in MUSIC-KIDNEY

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Urology Practice


INTRODUCTION: Multiple urological societies recommend chest imaging for suspicious renal masses using chest x-ray or CT as clinically indicated. The purpose of chest imaging is to assess for thoracic metastasis at the time of renal mass diagnosis. Ideally, imaging use and type are commensurate with risk related to tumor size and clinical stage. We examined current practice patterns with chest imaging compliance in the state of Michigan and implemented clinician education and value-based reimbursement incentivization on guideline adherence.

METHODS: MUSIC (Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative)-KIDNEY (Kidney mass: Identifying and Defining Necessary Evaluation and therapY) is a statewide initiative focusing on quality improvement for patients with cT1 renal masses. Data regarding chest imaging in MUSIC and panel discussion occurred at an in-person MUSIC meeting in October 2019. Adherence to chest imaging guidelines was made a value-based reimbursement metric at the triannual MUSIC meeting in January 2020. Adherence was defined as optional in renal masses(CT not indicated), recommended in renal masses 3-5 cm (chest x-ray preferred), and required in renal masses >5 cm (CT preferred). The MUSIC registry was queried for percentage of patients receiving chest imaging by type. Factors associated with adherence were assessed.

RESULTS: There was significant practice-level variation in chest imaging rates across the 14 contributing practices, ranging from 11% to 68%. Compliance with MUSIC guidelines for chest imaging during evaluation of T1 renal masses was 81.8% overall, with only 61.8% of patients with masses >5 cm meeting the guideline requiring imaging with preference for CT. Factors associated with increased adherence included larger tumor size (T1b vs T1a) and solid (vs cystic or indeterminate) tumor (

CONCLUSIONS: Chest imaging guideline adherence during the initial evaluation of cT1 renal masses is acceptable, particularly given that most masses are <3 >cm, for which metastatic risk is low. However, despite consensus from major urological societies regarding imaging for masses >4-5 cm, imaging rates were low across MUSIC. After educational and value-based reimbursement incentive initiation, rates of imaging for 3-5-cm and >5-cm masses changed only slightly. There remains significant practice variability and room for improvement.





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