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Not equal: Quality of care, cost for PAD sufferers
Date:1/3/2012

reatments in Medicare patients according to the physician specialty type (interventional radiologist, interventional cardiologist, vascular surgeon) that provided the service and assessed mortality, transfusion, intensive care use, length of stay, and subsequent restoration of blood supply or amputation. Outcomes were compared using standard outcome prediction formulas adjusted for age, gender, race, emergency department admission and other existing conditions.

"We found that costs and provider care are not alike," said current society president Timothy P. Murphy, M.D., FSIR, a study co-author. "We noted that the adjusted average one-year procedure cost when performed by interventional radiologists was about $17,640. That's a cost savings to Medicare of approximately $1,000 per procedurewhich means that in such a large population, treatments for PAD by interventional radiologists could potentially save taxpayers $230 million each year. And the patient outcomes are better," said Murphy, an interventional radiologist and director of the Vascular Disease Research Center at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

Murphy noted data from the study provided strong evidence that treatment by interventional radiologists provides numerous benefits to the PAD patient, such as less risk of infection, less anesthesia, less pain and scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal activities. "The Medicare data clearly show more transfusion and intensive care utilization, longer length of stay, more repeat procedures or amputations and higher costs when treatment is not performed by interventional radiologists," Murphy added.

PAD is a narrowing of the blood vessels in the leg, which limits the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the leg, causing pain and discomfort. The first line of defense for peripheral arterial disease is lifestyle changes, however; when this proves unsuccessful, other techniques including endovascular interventions (minimally
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Contact: Ellen Acconcia
eacconcia@sirweb.org
703-460-5582
Society of Interventional Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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