Association of Physician Certification in Interventional Cardiology with In-Hospital Outcomes of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Background—The value of American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification has been questioned. We evaluated the association of interventional cardiology (ICARD) certification with in-hospital outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in 2010.
Methods and Results—We identified physicians who performed ≥10 PCIs in 2010 in the CathPCI Registry and determined ICARD status using ABIM data. We compared in-hospital outcomes of patients treated by certified and non-certified physicians using hierarchical multivariable models adjusted for differences in patient characteristics and PCI volume. Primary endpoints were all-cause in-hospital mortality and bleeding complications. Secondary endpoints included emergency coronary artery bypass grafting, vascular complications, and a composite of any adverse outcome. With 510,708 PCI procedures performed by 5,175 physicians, case mix and unadjusted outcomes were similar among certified and non-certified physicians. The adjusted risks of in-hospital mortality (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.19) and emergency CABG (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.12-1.56) were higher in the non-ICARD certified group, but the risks of bleeding, vascular complications, and the composite endpoint were not statistically significantly different between groups.
Conclusions—We did not observe a consistent association between ICARD certification and the outcomes of PCI procedures. Although there was a significantly higher risk of mortality and emergency CABG in patients treated by non-ICARD certified physicians, the risks of vascular complications and bleeding were similar. Our findings suggest that ICARD certification status alone is not a strong predictor of patient outcomes, and indicate a need to enhance the value of subspecialty certification.
- Received May 29, 2015.
- Revision received July 16, 2015.
- Accepted August 14, 2015.