Main content area

Evaluating center performance in the competing risks setting: Application to outcomes of wait‐listed end‐stage renal disease patients

Dharmarajan, Sai H., Schaubel, Douglas E., Saran, Rajiv
Biometrics 2018 v.74 no.1 pp. 289-299
biometry, death, health care workers, kidney diseases, kidney transplant, models, patients, risk
It is often of interest to compare centers or healthcare providers on quality of care delivered. We consider the setting where evaluation of center performance on multiple competing events is of interest. We propose estimating center effects through cause‐specific proportional hazards frailty models that allow correlation among a center's cause‐specific effects. Estimation of our model proceeds via penalized partial likelihood and is implemented in R. To evaluate center performance, we also propose a directly standardized excess cumulative incidence (ECI) measure. Therefore, based on our proposed methods, practitioners can evaluate centers either through the cause‐specific hazards or the cumulative incidence functions. We demonstrate, through simulations, the advantages of the proposed methods to detect outlying centers, by comparing the proposed methods and existing methods which assume uncorrelated random center effects. In addition, we develop a Correlation Score Test to test the null hypothesis that the competing event processes within a center are correlated. Using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, we apply our method to evaluate the performance of Organ Procurement Organizations on two competing risks: (i) receipt of a kidney transplant and (ii) death on the wait‐list.