The researches find that the The proportion of paracentesis and thoracentesis procedures performed by radiologists is continuing to increase, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Ravi V. Gottumukkala, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston; and colleagues used data from carrier claims files for a 5 percent national sample of Medicare beneficiaries to compare disparities between paracenteses and thoracenteses performed by radiologists and nonradiologists over time.
Procedures performed by radiologists
Paracentesis and thoracentesis examinations were retrospectively classified by physician specialty; day of the week, and complexity of a patient’s condition. The researchers found that from 2004 to 2016; there is an increase in the proportion of all paracentesis and thoracentesis procedures performed by (70 to 80% and 47 to 66%, respectively). On both weekends and weekdays, radiologists increasingly performed more of both services, but a lower proportion was performed by radiologists on weekends.
Radiologists performed paracentesis in patients with more complex conditions than those treated by nonradiologists for most of the first nine years of the study period; but in recent years; the complexity of patients’ conditions was similar. Across the study period, for thoracentesis; the complexity of patients’ conditions was similar for both specialty groups. “The present findings suggest that previous implications from analyses of diagnostic imaging services, including the possibility of selective referral to radiologists of imaging studies performed off-hours and on more complex patients, do not apply to at least this subset of image-guided procedures,” the authors write.
Paracentesis and thoracentesis
Radiologists are performing paracentesis and thoracentesis procedures on Medicare beneficiaries more frequently than in the past, according to new research published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. These procedures were once commonly performed by nonradiologist physicians at bedside; the study’s authors explained; but radiologists started doing them more and more as image guidance became a central part of the process. The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study explored Medicare claims data from 2004 to 2016.
Overall, the researchers found, the proportion of paracentesis procedures handled by jumped from 70% to 80%. Thoracentesis procedures performed by radiologists increased from 47% to 66%. “For both paracentesis and thoracentesis procedures; we observed an increase over time in the proportion of procedures performed by compared to non,” first author Ravi V. Gottumukkala, MD, a radiology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in a prepared statement. “Additionally, while for both procedures; radiologists increasingly perform the majority of services on both weekdays and weekends; they find that the proportion of the services provide by radiologists is greater on weekdays compare to weekends.”