Relationship between physician and hospital procedure volume and mortality after carotid artery stenting among medicare beneficiaries

Jessica J. Jalbert, Marie D. Gerhard-Herman, Louis L. Nguyen, Michael R. Jaff, Hiraku Kumamaru, Lauren A. Williams, Chih Ying Chen, Jun Liu, John D. Seeger, Andrew T. Rothman, Peter Schneider, Thomas G. Brott, Thomas T. Tsai, Herbert D. Aronow, Joseph A. Johnston, Soko Setoguchi Iwata

Publication Date: 10/01/2015

Background – Clinical trials demonstrated the efficacy of carotid artery stenting (CAS) relative to carotid endarterectomy when performed by physicians with demonstrated proficiency. It is unclear how CAS performance may be influenced by the diversity in CAS and non-CAS provider volumes in routine clinical practice. Methods and Results – We linked Medicare claims to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ CAS Database (2005-2009). We assessed the association between 30-day mortality and past-year physician (0, 1-4, 5-9, 10-19, ≥20) and hospital (<10, 10-19, 20-39, ≥40) CAS volumes and past-year hospital coronary and peripheral stenting volumes (<200, 200-399, 400-849, ≥850) among beneficiaries at least 66 years of age. Unadjusted 30-day mortality risk was 1.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-2.0) for 19 724 patients undergoing CAS by 2045 physicians in 729 hospitals. Median past-year CAS volume was 9 (interquartile range, 4-19) for physicians and 23 (interquartile range, 12-41) for hospitals. Compared to physicians performing ≥20 CAS in the past year, lower CAS volumes were associated with higher adjusted risks of 30-day morality (P value for trend < 0.05): 1.4 (95% CI, 0.9-2.3) for 0 past-year CAS, 1.3 (95% CI, 0.9-1.8) for 1 to 4, 1.1 (95% CI, 0.8-1.6) for 5 to 9, and 0.9 (95% CI, 0.7-1.4) for 10 to 19. An inverse relationship between 30-day mortality and past-year CAS hospital volume as well as past-year hospital non-CAS volume, past-year hospital non-CAS volume, and 30-day mortality was also noted. Conclusions - Among Medicare patients, an inverse relationship exists between physician and hospital CAS volumes and hospital non-CAS stenting volume and 30-day mortality, even after adjusting for all pertinent patient- and hospital-level factors. Publisher: