Title: Prognostic score-based methods for estimating center effects based on survival probability
Authors: Douglas Schaubel - University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (United States) [presenting]
Youjin Lee - University of Pennsylvania (United States)
Abstract: In evaluating the performance of facilities or centers on survival outcomes, the standardized mortality ratio (SMR), which compares the observed to expected mortality, has been widely used, particularly in the evaluation of kidney transplant centers. Despite its utility, the SMR may exaggerate center effects in settings where survival probability is relatively high. An example is one-year graft survival among U.S. kidney transplant recipients. We propose a novel approach to estimate center effects in terms of differences in survival probability (i.e., each center versus a reference population). An essential component of the method is a prognostic score weighting technique, which permits accurately evaluating centers without necessarily specifying a correct survival model. Advantages of our approach over existing facility-profiling methods include a metric based on survival probability (greater clinical relevance than ratios of counts/rates); direct standardization (valid to compare between centers, unlike indirect standardization-based methods, such as the SMR); and less reliance on correct model specification (since the assumed model is used to generate risk classes as opposed to fitted-value based expected counts). We establish the asymptotic properties of the proposed weighted estimator and evaluate its finite-sample performance under a diverse set of simulation settings. The method is then applied to evaluate U.S. kidney transplant centers.