Authors: Stavros G. Memtsoudis, M.D., Ph.D, et al
Anesthesiology published on 1 2016.
Background: Differences in health care represent a major health policy issue. Despite increasing evidence on the mediating role of anesthesia type used for surgery on perioperative outcome, there is a lack of data on potential care differences in this field. The authors aimed to determine whether anesthesia practice (use of neuraxial anesthesia [NA] or peripheral nerve block [PNB]) differs by patient and hospital factors.
Methods: The authors extracted data on n = 1,062,152 hip and knee arthroplasty procedures from the Premier Perspective database (2006 to 2013). Multilevel multivariable logistic regression models measured associations (odds ratios [ORs] and 95% CIs) between patient/hospital factors and NA or PNB use.
Results: Of all patients, 22.2% (n = 236,083) received NA and 17.9% (n = 189,732) received PNB. Lower adjusted odds for receiving NA were seen for black patients (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.91) and those on Medicaid (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.82) or without insurance (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.81 to 0.98). Furthermore, teaching hospitals (compared with nonteaching hospitals) had lower adjusted odds for NA utilization (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.14 to 0.89). Although generally similar patterns were seen for PNB utilization, the main difference was that particularly Hispanic patients were less likely to receive PNB compared with white patients (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.65). Sensitivity analyses generally validated our results.
Conclusions: Significant differences exist in the provision of regional anesthetic care with factors such as race and insurance type being important determinants of anesthetic practice. Further and in-depth research is needed to fully assess the background of these differences.