Abstract 4853: Association of Physician Certification with Rates of CRT-D Implantation in Eligible Patients: Insights from the ICD Registry
Current guidelines recommend cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT-D) in appropriate patients undergoing ICD implantation. However, not all physicians who implant ICDs are trained to perform CRT-D. We examined the ICD Registry to assess whether use of CRT-D implantation varied by physician certification. We determined the certification of 2128 physicians who had submitted >=10 cases between April 2006 and June 2007. We excluded patients with a prior ICD, an epicardial lead, or aged ≤18 years, leaving 111,293 patients. Physicians were grouped into mutually exclusive categories reflecting highest current certification- Electrophysiology (EP), Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), Thoracic Surgery (TS), Internal Medicine (IM), Heart Rhythm Society alternative pathway (HRS), and Other. Patients were considered eligible for CRT-D if they met the following criteria: QRS duration >=120ms, LVEF ≪26>35%, and NYHA Class III-IV. We examined crude rates of CRT-D across physician categories and developed a logistic regression model to assess the association of physician certification and CRT-D implantation. Candidate variables included demographics, cardiac status, comorbidities, and physician volume. Odds ratios were converted to relative risks. 35,851 patients met all three eligibility criteria for CRT-D, and 28,932 (80.7%) had a CRT-D implanted. EP physicians implanted the majority of CRT-D (73.6%), with fewer CRT-D placed by CVD (20.6%), TS (0.9%), IM (0.8%), HRS (1.1%), or Other (3.1%). The crude rate of CRT-D implantation was highest among EP physicians and lower in all other categories: EP- 83.1%, CVD-75.8%, TS- 57.9%, IM- 76.5%, HRS- 77.1%, Other- 73.5% (p<0.001). In multivariable analysis, CVD and TS physicians were less likely to implant CRT-D in eligible patients compared with EP physicians (EP: Ref; CVD: RR 0.92 (0.90 – 0.94); TS: RR 0.76 (0.71– 0.85)). CRT-D rates were comparable for other physician groups (IM RR 0.95 (0.87–1.01); HRS: RR 0.97 (0.90 –1.02); Other RR 0.97 (0.93–1.00)). Among eligible patients, use of CRT-D varies by physician certification. Given the benefits of CRT-D, clinicians should consider referring eligible patients to physicians with familiarity and expertise in CRT-D implantation.