Most hospital TAVR programs in metro, affluent areas

An Oct. 21 study in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that most transcatheter aortic valve replacement programs are found in affluent metropolitan areas.

Researchers identified fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries aged 66 years or older who underwent TAVR, and hospitals that developed TAVR programs, between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2018. 

Linear regression models were then used to compare socioeconomic characteristics of patients at hospitals with and without TAVR programs.

Researchers noted limitations to the study included the results potentially not being generalizable to patients with Medicare Advantage and unknown reasoning for hospitals' establishment of TAVR programs.

 Key findings:

  • Between 2012 and 2018, 583 hospitals developed new TAVR programs, including 572 in metropolitan areas, and 293 in metropolitan areas with preexisting TAVR programs.

  • Hospitals that started TAVR programs treated fewer patients with dual eligibility for Medicaid, higher median household incomes, and from areas with lower distressed communities index scores, compared with hospitals that did not start TAVR programs. 

Read the full study here.

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