Claims-based surveillance for reintervention after endovascular aneurysm repair among non-Medicare patients

Journal Journal of Vascular Surgery
Authors Columbo JA, Kang R, Hoel AW, Kang J, Leinweber KA, Tauber KS, Hila R, Ramkumar N, Sedrakyan A, Goodney PP.
Year Published 2019
Link to publication



The accurate measurement of reintervention after endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is critical during postoperative surveillance. The purpose of this study was to compare reintervention rates after EVAR from three different data sources: the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) alone, VQI linked to Medicare claims (VQI-Medicare), and a “gold standard” of clinical chart review supplemented with telephone interviews.


We reviewed the medical records of 729 patients who underwent EVAR at our institution between 2003 and 2013. We excluded patients without follow-up reported to the VQI (n = 68 [9%]) or without Medicare claims information (n = 114 [16%]). All patients in the final analytic cohort (n = 547) had follow-up information available from all three data sources (VQI alone, VQI linked to Medicare, and chart review). We then compared reintervention rates between the three data sources. Our primary end points were the agreement between the three data sources and the Kaplan-Meier estimated rate of reintervention at 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years after EVAR. For gold standard assessment, we supplemented chart review with telephone interview as necessary to assess reintervention.


VQI data alone identified 12 reintervention events in the first year after EVAR. Chart review confirmed all 12 events and identified 18 additional events not captured by the VQI. VQI-Medicare data successfully identified all 30 of these events within the first year. VQI-Medicare also documented four reinterventions in this time period that did not occur on the basis of patient interview (4/547 [0.7%]). The agreement between chart review and VQI-Medicare data at 1 year was excellent (κ = 0.93). At 3 years, there were 81 (18%) reinterventions detected by VQI-Medicare and 70 (16%) detected by chart review for a sensitivity of 92%, specificity of 96%, and κ of 0.80. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated similar reintervention rates after 3 years between VQI-Medicare and chart review (log-rank, P = .59).


Chart review after EVAR demonstrated a 6% 1-year and 16% 3-year reintervention rate, and almost all (92%) of these events were accurately captured using VQI-Medicare data. Linking VQI data with Medicare claims allows an accurate assessment of reintervention rates after EVAR without labor-intensive physician chart review.