Insured Males Most Likely to Receive ICD Implantation

The majority of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) procedures are performed on people with insurance and more commonly in the male population, according to a new analysis of ICD implants in the United States presented as part of Heart Rhythm 2014.

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The study, based on data from the National Inpatient Sample from 2000-2011 using ICD-9 procedure codes for ICD implantation, assessed ICD implantation in more than 160,000 insured males, uninsured males, insured females and uninsured females.

Overall results showed that vast majority (95 percent) of the ICD implants identified were performed in the insured population. Broken down by segments, insured males (70.8 percent) had significantly higher implants compared with insured females (24.2 percent). Only five percent of the procedures were performed on people who did not have insurance.

"The striking results show that major disparities are present with ICD implants and this further highlights the importance of adhering to guidelines, so best possible candidates have access to the life saving device," said lead author Nileshkumar Patel, MBBS, Staten Island University Hospital in New York. "We are presented with the challenge to look for new ways to enhance the quality of care and continue to educate on the safety and effectiveness of these devices."

Abhishek Deshmukh, MD, co-author of the study and cardiologist at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences also noted that the study results highlight the need for continued efforts to mitigate health care disparities.

Keywords: Medically Uninsured, International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Coding, Healthcare Disparities, Health Services Needs and Demand, Inpatients, Defibrillators, Implantable

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