Outcomes for critical limb ischemia are driven by lower extremity revascularization volume, not distance to hospital

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Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to identify relationships among geographic access to care, vascular procedure volume, limb preservation, and survival in patients diagnosed with critical limb ischemia (CLI).

Methods:

Using New York State administrative data from 2000 to 2013, we identified a patient's first presentation with CLI defined by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnosis and procedure codes. Distance from the patient's home to the index hospital was calculated using the centroids of the respective ZIP codes. A multivariable logistic regression model was employed to estimate the impact of distance, major lower extremity amputation (LEA) volume, and lower extremity revascularization (LER) volume on major amputation and 30-day mortality. Volumes and distances were analyzed in quintiles. The farthest distance quintile and the highest procedure volume quintiles were used as references for generating odds ratios (ORs).

Results:

There were 49,576 patients identified with an initial presentation of CLI. The median age was 73 years, 35,829 (73.2%) had Medicare as a primary insurer, 11,395 (23.0%) had a major amputation, and 4249 (8.6%) died within 30 days of admission. Patients in the closest distance quintile were more likely to undergo amputation (OR, 1.53 [1.39-1.68]; P < .0001). Patients who visited hospitals in the lowest LER volume quintile with at least one procedure per year faced higher 30-day mortality rates (OR, 2.05 [1.67-2.50]; P < .0001) and greater odds of amputation (OR, 9.94 [8.5-11.63]; P < .0001). Patients who visited hospitals in the lowest LEA volume quintile had lower odds of 30-day mortality (OR, 0.66 [0.50-0.87]; P = .0033) and lower odds of amputation (OR, 0.180 [0.142-0.227]; P < .0001).

Conclusions:

Rates of major amputation are inversely associated with distance from the index hospital, whereas rates of both major amputation and mortality are inversely associated with LER volume. Rates of major amputation and mortality are directly associated with LEA volume. We believe that unless it is otherwise contraindicated, these data support consideration for selective referral of CLI patients to high-volume centers for LER regardless of distance. Within the context of value-based health care delivery, policy supporting regionalization of CLI care into centers of excellence may improve outcomes for these patients.

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