Provider Trends in Atherectomy Volume between Office-Based Laboratories and Traditional Facilities

Academic Article


  • Background: As patient care is being increasingly transitioned out of the hospital and into the outpatient setting, there is a growing interest in developing office-based angiography suites, that is, office-based laboratories. Office-based care has been associated with increased efficiency and greater patient satisfaction, with substantially higher reimbursement directly to the physicians providing care. Prior studies have demonstrated a shift of revascularization procedures to office-based laboratories with a concomitant increase in atherectomy use, a procedure with disproportionately high reimbursement in comparison to other peripheral revascularization techniques. We sought to determine provider trends in endovascular procedure volume, settings, and shifts in practice over time, specific to atherectomy. Methods: Using Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Provider Utilization and Payment Data Public Use Files from 2013 to 2015, we identified providers who performed diagnostic angiography (DA), percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), stent placement (stent), and atherectomy, and procedures were aggregated at the provider level. Trends in procedures performed in office-based laboratory and facility-based settings were analyzed. Atherectomy was specifically analyzed using the total number and proportion of office-based laboratory procedures, and providers were stratified into quintiles by case volume. Results: Between 2013 and 2015, 5,298 providers were identified. Over this time period, the number of providers performing atherectomy increased 25.7%, with the highest quintile of atherectomy providers performing an average of 263 cases (range 109–1,455). The proportion of physicians who performed atherectomy only in the office increased from 39.8% to 50.7% from 2013 to 2015, whereas only 20.8% of physicians who performed DA, PTA, or stent in 2015 did so only in an office-based laboratory. Of the physicians with the highest atherectomy volume, 77.8% operated only in the office in 2015, and these physicians increased their atherectomy volume to 114.1% during the study period. Of those physicians who transitioned to a solely office-based laboratory practice over the study period, atherectomy volume increased 63.4%, which was disproportionate compared with the growth of their DA, PTA, and stent volume. Conclusions: Over this short study period, a rapid shift into the office setting for peripheral intervention occurred, with a concomitant increase in atherectomy volume that was disproportionate to the increase in other peripheral interventions. This increase in office-based laboratory atherectomy occurred in the setting of increased reimbursement for the procedure and despite a lack of data supporting superiority over PTA/stent.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 8341292
  • Author List

  • Smith ME; Sutzko DC; Beck AW; Osborne NH
  • Start Page

  • 83
  • End Page

  • 90
  • Volume

  • 58