Factors related to initial treatment for adhesive capsulitis in the medicare population


Abstract Background Primary adhesive capsulitis (AC) is not well understood, and controversy remains about the most effective treatment approaches. Even less is known about the treatment of AC in the Medicare population. We aimed to fully characterize initial treatment for AC in terms of initial treatment utilization, timing of initial treatments and treatment combinations. Methods Using United States Medicare claims from 2010–2012, we explored treatment utilization and patient characteristics associated with initial treatment for primary AC among 7,181 Medicare beneficiaries. Patients with primary AC were identified as patients seeking care for a new shoulder complaint in 2011, with the first visit related to shoulder referred to as the index date, an x-ray or MRI of the shoulder region, and two separate diagnoses of AC (ICD-9-CM codes: 726.00). The treatment period was defined as the 90 days immediately following the index shoulder visit. A multivariable logistic model was used to assess baseline patient factors associated with receiving surgery within the treatment period. Results Ninety percent of beneficiaries with primary AC received treatment within 90 days of their index shoulder visit. Physical therapy (PT) alone (41%) and injection combined with PT (34%) were the most common treatment approaches. Similar patient profiles emerged across treatment groups, with higher proportions of racial minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged and more frail patients favoring injections or watchful waiting. Black beneficiaries (OR = 0.37, [0.16, 0.86]) and those residing in the northeast (OR = 0.36, [0.18, 0.69]) had significantly lower odds of receiving surgery in the treatment period. Conversely, younger beneficiaries aged 66–69 years (OR = 6.75, [2.12, 21.52]) and 70–75 years (OR = 5.37, [1.67, 17.17]) and beneficiaries with type 2 diabetes had significantly higher odds of receiving surgery (OR = 1.41, [1.03, 1.92]). Conclusions Factors such as patient baseline health and socioeconomic characteristics appear to be important for physicians and Medicare beneficiaries making treatment decisions for primary AC.

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