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Original research
Recent trends in high-volume Medicare stroke thrombectomy provider characteristics

Abstract

Background Intracranial mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is increasingly indicated for use in acute ischemic stroke patients. We analyzed recent trends in the characteristics and geographic distributions of physicians providing this service with frequency to Medicare beneficiaries.

Methods We linked public data sources to elucidate and visualize trends in high-volume MT providers between 2016 and 2019.

Results High-volume MT providers increased by 184% between 2016 and 2019. The number of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and radiologists in this physician population increased by 251%, 205%, and 139%, respectively. Male practitioners accounted for 96% of providers in the most recent year of analysis. International medical graduates accounted for roughly one-third of these physicians across all 4 years of analysis. As of 2019, the three states with the most high-volume MT providers were Florida, California, and Texas, accounting for 7%, 7%, and 6% of providers, respectively.

Conclusions High-volume providers of MT services for Medicare beneficiaries represent a dynamic and rapidly expanding subset of physicians with diverse specialty backgrounds.

  • thrombectomy
  • stroke
  • economics

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. Requests for Medicare data should be directed to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The data used to create our manually curated database are available publicly on the internet.

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