Objective: We have previously demonstrated an adverse impact of black race and Hispanic ethnicity on the outcomes of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid artery stenting (CAS). The current study was undertaken to examine the influence of race and ethnicity on the cost of CEA and CAS. Methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2005-2009) was queried using ICD-9 codes for CEA and CAS in patients with carotid artery stenosis. The primary outcome was total hospital charges. Multivariate analysis was performed using a generalized linear model adjusting for age, sex, race, comorbidities (Charlson index), high-risk status, procedure type, symptomatic status, year, insurance type, and surgeon and hospital operative volumes and characteristics. Results: Hispanic and black patients were more likely to have a symptomatic presentation, and were more likely to undergo either CEA or CAS by low-volume surgeons at lowvolume hospitals (P < 0.05, all). They were also less likely to have private insurance or Medicare (P < 0.001). Overall, CEA was less expensive than CAS over the 4-y study period ($29,502 ± $104 versus $46,713 ± $409, P < 0.001). Total hospital charges after CEA were increased in both blacks ($39,562 ± $843) and Hispanics ($45,325 ± $735) compared with whites on univariate analysis ($28,403 ± $101, P < 0.001). After CAS, total hospital charges were similarly increased in both blacks ($51,770 ± $2085) and Hispanics ($63,637 ± $2766) compared with whites on univariate analysis ($45,550 ± $412, P < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, however, only Hispanic ethnicity remained independently associated with increased charges after both CEA (exponentiated coefficient 1.18; 95% CI [1.15-1.20]; P < 0.001) and CAS (exponentiated coefficient 1.17; 95% CI [1.09-1.24]; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Hispanic ethnicity was independently associated with increased hospital charges after both CEA and CAS. The increased charges seen in black patients were explained, in part, by decreased surgeon operative volume and increased postoperative complications. Further efforts are warranted to contain costs in minorities undergoing carotid revascularization.
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