Interventional Radiologists Better, Less Expensive for Treating PAD

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For treating patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), interventional radiologists cost Medicare less and resulted in better outcomes compared to other specialists. The study, which appears in this month's Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, compared percutaneous treatments by interventional radiologists to interventional cardiologists and vascular surgeons. Researchers reviewed Medicare claims data from 14,000 patients with PAD, which results form hardening of the arteries and can lead to strokes and heart attacks. It affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. The study looked at the cost and quality of minimally invasive interventional treament and found that interventional radiologists could perform the procedure for about $1,000 less than the other specialists. When it came to quality, the study found that such treatments by radiologists resulted in “less risk of infection, less anesthesia, less pain and scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal activities,” according to co-auther and president of the Society of Interventional Radiologists Timothy P. Murphy, M.D., based on a press release. For the full study click here.