Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) reduces the risk for mortality and heart failure–related events in select patients. Little is known about the use of CRT in combination with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in patients who are eligible for this therapy in clinical practice.Objective
To (1) identify patient, clinician, and hospital characteristics associated with CRT defibrillator (CRT-D) use and (2) determine the extent of hospital-level variation in the use of CRT-D among guideline-eligible patients undergoing ICD placement.Design, Setting, and Participants
Multicenter retrospective cohort from 1428 hospitals participating in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry ICD Registry between April 1, 2010, and June 30, 2014. Adult patients meeting class I or IIa guideline recommendations for CRT at the time of device implantation were included in this study.Main Outcomes and Measures
Implantation of an ICD with or without CRT.Results
A total of 63 506 eligible patients (88.6%) received CRT-D at the time of device implantation. The mean (SD) ages of those in the ICD and CRT-D groups were 67.9 (12.2) years and 68.4 (11.5) years, respectively. In hierarchical multivariable models, black race was independently associated with lower use of CRT-D (odds ratio [OR], 0.77; 95% CI, 0.71-0.83) as was nonprivate insurance (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85-0.95 for Medicare and OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.65-0.82 for Medicaid). Clinician factors associated with greater CRT-D use included clinician implantation volume (OR, 1.01 per 10 additional devices implanted; 95% CI, 1.01-1.01) and electrophysiology training (OR, 3.13 as compared with surgery-boarded clinicians; 95% CI, 2.50-3.85). At the hospital level, the overall median risk-standardized rate of CRT-D use was 79.9% (range, 26.7%-100%; median OR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.99-2.18).Conclusions and Relevance
In a national cohort of patients eligible for CRT-D at the time of device implantation, nearly 90% received a CRT-D device. However, use of CRT-D differed by race and implanting operator characteristics. After accounting for these factors, the use of CRT-D continued to vary widely by hospital. Addressing disparities and variation in CRT-D use among guideline-eligible patients may improve patient outcomes.