Society for Vascular Surgery addresses latest mainstream media reports on atherectomy

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The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) has issued a statement addressing the latest reports published by ProPublica on atherectomy use in the U.S.

The nonprofit investigative news outlet published three articles in its latest round of investigations looking into Medicare claims data.

The SVS informed members that it was aware of the latest ProPublica coverage and remains concerned that such articles, “while addressing an important issue of potential overutilization and statistical outliers, can also stoke unnecessary fear in the patient population and may contribute to a well-documented under-diagnosis issue, fostering downstream negative outcomes which can be prevented with earlier diagnosis and treatment.”

The statement continued, “It is important to note that in this series of articles the overwhelming majority of providers consistently seem to be practicing in accordance with vascular care guidelines, and this deserves acknowledgement.”

The Society pointed to previous “strong” positions it has taken regarding quality standards in the provision of vascular care. The SVS statement stressed that it would continue to advocate “that all providers of vascular care should practice in accordance with quality care and patient safety guidelines, enroll in a registry that meets or exceeds the standards of the VQI [Vascular Quality Initiative], and engage in quality improvement initiative.”

The SVS leadership will continue to review the articles, the statement added, with a more in-depth response to be released in the coming days. The Society also plans to work closely with societies in the interventional cardiology and interventional radiology worlds—the Society for Interventional Radiology (SIR) and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions (SCAI)—on a joint response.

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