We compared the estimated clinical outcomes, costs, and physician workload resulting from available strategies for deciding which women with an adnexal mass should be referred to a gynecologic oncologist.Methods:
We used a microsimulation model to compare five referral strategies: 1) American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines, 2) Multivariate Index Assay (MIA) algorithm, 3) Risk of Malignancy Algorithm (ROMA), 4) CA125 alone with lowered cutoff values to prioritize test sensitivity over specificity, 5) referral of all women (Refer All). Test characteristics and relative survival were obtained from the literature and data from a biomarker validation study. Medical costs were estimated using Medicare reimbursements. Travel costs were estimated using discharge data from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results–Medicare and State Inpatient Databases. Analyses were performed separately for pre- and postmenopausal women (60 000 “subjects” in each), repeated 10 000 times.Results:
Refer All was cost-effective compared with less expensive strategies in both postmenopausal (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio [ICER] $9423/year of life saved (LYS) compared with CA125) and premenopausal women (ICER $10 644/YLS compared with CA125), but would result in an additional 73 cases/year/subspecialist. MIA was more expensive and less effective than Refer All in pre- and postmenopausal women. If Refer All is not a viable option, CA125 is an optimal strategy in postmenopausal women.Conclusions:
Referral of all women to a subspecialist is an efficient strategy for managing women with adnexal masses requiring surgery, assuming sufficient capacity for additional surgical volume. If a test-based triage strategy is needed, CA125 with lowered cutoff values is a cost-effective strategy.