Variation in Cardiac Rehabilitation Participation During Aortic Valve Replacement Episodes of Care

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Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes


Background: Despite reported benefit in the setting of aortic valve replacement (AVR), cardiac rehabilitation (CR) utilization remains low, with few studies evaluating hospital and patient-level variation in CR participation. We explored determinants of CR variability during AVR episodes of care: transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR).

Methods: A cohort of 10,124 AVR episodes of care (TAVR n=5,121 from 24 hospitals; SAVR n=5,003 from 32 hospitals) were identified from the Michigan Value Collaborative statewide multipayer registry (2015 to 2019). CR enrollment was defined as the presence of a single professional or facility claim within 90 days of discharge: 93797, 93798, G0422, G0423. Annual trends and hospital variation in CR were described for TAVR, SAVR, and all AVR. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate effects of predictors and hospital risk-adjusted rates of CR enrollment.

Results: Overall, 4,027 (39.8%) patients enrolled in CR, with significant differences by treatment strategy: SAVR=50.9%, TAVR=28.9% (p<0.001). CR use after SAVR was significantly higher than after TAVR and increased over time for both modalities (p<0.001). There were significant differences in CR enrollment across age, gender, payer, and some comorbidities (p<.05). At the hospital-level, CR participation rates for all AVR varied 10-fold (4.8% to 68.7%) and were moderately correlated between SAVR and TAVR (Pearson r=0.56, p<0.01).

Conclusions: Substantial variation exists in CR participation during AVR episodes of care across hospitals. However, within-hospital CR participation rates were significantly correlated across treatment strategies. These findings suggest that CR participation is the product of hospital-specific practice patterns. Identifying hospital practices associated with higher CR participation can help assist future quality improvement efforts to increase CR use after AVR.

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ePub ahead of print