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Research Finds Significant Inverse Association Between Hospital Procedure Volumes and Patient Outcomes for TAVR

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MedTech Dive writes: More than five years after transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) were cleared in the U.S., a “significant inverse association” between hospitals’ procedure volumes and patient outcomes appears to have persisted, according to registry data analyzed by cardiologists published in the New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday. That relationship held up even once researchers eliminated data from a hospital’s first year of procedures to account for an initial learning curve. Still, there was “substantial variability” in mortality and complications among low-volume hospitals, and researchers noted these hospitals were more likely than their high-volume counterparts to serve rural areas and treat black and Hispanic patients.

These findings, writes MedTech Dive, play into an ongoing debate over whether CMS should loosen requirements set in 2012 that hospitals perform at least 20 TAVR procedures per year, or 40 over two years, to receive coverage for TAVR cases. The issue has been in the spotlight again as CMS revisited the national coverage determination in a draft policy issued last week.​

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