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Clinician Specialty, Access to Care, and Outcomes Among Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease

Published:October 07, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2021.08.025

      Abstract

      Background

      Understanding the relationship between patterns of peripheral artery disease and outcomes is an essential step toward improving care and outcomes. We hypothesized that clinician specialty would be associated with occurrence of major adverse vascular events (MAVE).

      Methods

      Patients with at least 1 peripheral artery disease-related encounter in our health system and fee-for-service Medicare were divided into groups based on the specialty of the clinician (ie, cardiologist, surgeon, podiatrist, primary care, or other) providing a plurality of peripheral artery disease-coded care in the year prior to index encounter. The primary outcome was MAVE (a composite of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, lower extremity revascularization, and lower extremity amputation).

      Results

      The cohort included 1768 patients, of whom 30.0% were Black, 23.9% were Medicaid dual-enrollment eligible, and 31.1% lived in rural areas. Patients receiving a plurality of their care from podiatrists had the highest 1-year rates of MAVE (34.4%, P <.001), hospitalization (65.9%, P <.001), and amputations (22.6%, P <.001). Clinician specialty was not associated with outcomes after adjustment. Patients who were Medicaid dual-eligible had higher adjusted risks of mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HRadj] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11-2.14) and all-cause hospitalization (HRadj 1.20, 95% CI 1.03-1.40) and patients who were Black had a higher adjusted risk of amputation (HRadj 1.49, 95% CI 1.03-2.15).

      Conclusions

      Clinician specialty was not associated with worse outcomes after adjustment, but certain socioeconomic factors were. The effects of clinician specialty and socioeconomic status were likely attenuated by the fact that all patients in this study had health insurance; these analyses require confirmation in a more representative cohort.

      Keywords

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