To present the principles and rationale of the Proton Priority System (PROPS), a priority points framework that assigns higher scores to patients thought to more likely benefit from proton therapy, and the distribution of PROPS scores by patient characteristics
We performed multivariable logistic regression to evaluate the association between PROPS scores and receipt of proton therapy, adjusted for insurance status, gender, race, geography, and the domains that inform the PROPS score.
Among 1529 adult patients considered for proton therapy prioritization during our Center's ramp-up phase of treatment availability, PROPS scores varied by age, diagnosis, site, and other PROPS domains. In adjusted analyses, receipt of proton therapy was lower for patients with non-Medicare relative to Medicare health insurance (commercial vs Medicare: adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34-0.64; managed care vs Medicare: OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.28-0.56; Medicaid vs Medicare: OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.13-0.44). Proton Priority System score and age were not significantly associated with receipt of proton therapy.
The Proton Priority System is a rationally designed and transparent system for allocation of proton therapy slots based on the best available evidence and expert opinion. Because the actual allocation of treatment slots depends mostly on insurance status, payers may consider incorporating PROPS, or its underlying principles, into proton therapy coverage policies.