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CDA 15-072 – HSR&D Study

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CDA 15-072
Optimizing Access, Appropriateness, and Quality of Minimally Invasive Procedures for Veterans
Celina M. Yong MD MBA MSc
Palo Alto, CA
Funding Period: February 2019 - January 2024


The last five years have seen a paradigm shift in healthcare: new minimally invasive treatments are now available that can effectively replace surgery for elderly, comorbid patients. The most striking example is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), the first major minimally invasive structural heart disease treatment to be disseminated nationally. TAVR is a life-saving option for the approximately 87,000 Veterans nationwide who suffer from severe aortic stenosis, and thereby face a 50% mortality rate within two years if left untreated. Preliminary data suggest that the novel complexities associated with TAVR diffusion significantly impact vulnerable patient populations. Based on prior data, one key mechanism for these disparities may be that vulnerable patient populations are less equipped to make informed decisions about treatment. Driven by the hypothesis that vulnerable Veteran populations experience unequal treatment with TAVR, but that decision support to routinely assess appropriateness and reduce barriers to care for Veterans can reduce these differences, the aims of this proposal are to: (1) Identify patient level factors that influence cardiovascular procedural treatment on the spectrum from minimally invasive (newer: TAVR and older: PCI) to invasive (older: CABG, SAVR) within the VA, categorizing high and low access groups, with non- VA data comparison. Multivariate, hierarchical logistic regression will be used to determine the association of patient level factors, including demographic and VA-specific contextual factors (e.g., percent service connection, proximity to VA procedure site, use of Veterans Choice or Medicare) with procedural use, identifying “low” and “high” access profile groups. I hypothesize that older, established cardiovascular procedures will show fewer inequities in care compared to the newest paradigm of care, TAVR. (2) Identify decisional needs and barriers to achieving appropriate TAVR treatment from the perspectives of Veterans (stratified into low and high access groups as defined by Aim 1) and their healthcare providers. I will use an explanatory mixed methods design to conduct semi-structured interviews with a stratified sample of low and high access profile Veterans referred for TAVR from multiple states and their providers to inform development of a pilot intervention in Aim 3. I hypothesize that poor understanding of individualized risks and benefits are a major limitation to appropriate TAVR referrals, with geographic barriers and difficulty using Veterans Choice options particularly identified among low access profile Veterans. (3) Build and pilot a novel individualized decision-making tool and patient facing website to improve both appropriateness and access to care, along with a strategy for implementation into routine VA care. Using TAVR as a model, I will develop and validate the feasibility of a prototype physician-facing decision aid for incorporation into routine VA care that predicts individualized risks and benefits of TAVR, as well as a patient-facing website that addresses barriers to care, such as mapping proximity and quality of the nearest TAVR sites for geographically remote Veterans who may require use of Veterans Choice. Through the successful execution of this work, for the first time, potential inequities in access to TAVR among vulnerable Veterans will be identified, and insights will be revealed into the gaps in decision making support for Veterans and their physicians that may contribute to these differences. Additionally, this work will advance the field by piloting the first evidence-based intervention to systematically improve the appropriateness of care for Veterans receiving minimally invasive procedures by generating individualized risk-benefit profiles for treatment, with further online innovative decisional support resources. This will serve as a model for a host of novel minimally invasive treatments now becoming available across multiple therapeutic disciplines.

NIH Reporter Project Information:


Journal Articles

  1. Soegaard Ballester JM, Han JJ, Yong CM. Addressing Functional Biases in Procedural Environments. Annals of surgery. 2022 Mar 1; 275(3):e544-e546.
  2. Mori M, Gupta A, Wang Y, Vahl T, Nazif T, Kirtane AJ, George I, Yong CM, Onuma O, Kodali S, Geirsson A, Leon MB, Krumholz HM. Trends in Transcatheter and Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement Among Older Adults in the United States. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2021 Nov 30; 78(22):2161-2172.
  3. Yong CM, Fearon WF. How Gold Is the Gold Standard for Machine Learning-Based CT-FFR?. JACC. Cardiovascular imaging. 2022 Mar 1; 15(3):487-488.
  4. Yong CM, Spinelli KJ, Chiu ST, Jones B, Penny B, Gummidipundi S, Beach S, Perino A, Turakhia M, Heidenreich P, Gluckman TJ. Cardiovascular procedural deferral and outcomes over COVID-19 pandemic phases: A multi-center study. American heart journal. 2021 Nov 1; 241:14-25.
  5. Han JJ, Vaduganathan M, Yong CM. Addressing Equity and More in 2021: Call From Fellows-in-Training & Early Career Section Editors. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2021 Mar 16; 77(10):1372-1373.
  6. Batchelor WB, Damluji AA, Yong C, Fiuzat M, Barnett SD, Kandzari DE, Sherwood MW, Epps KC, Tehrani BN, Allocco DJ, Meredith IT, Lindenfeld J, O'Connor CM, Mehran R. Does study subject diversity influence cardiology research site performance?: Insights from 2 U.S. National Coronary Stent Registries. American heart journal. 2021 Jun 1; 236:37-48.
  7. Yong CM, Balasubramanian S, Douglas PS, Agarwal P, Birgersdotter-Green U, Gummidipundi S, Batchelor W, Duvernoy CS, Harrington RA, Mehran R. Temporal Trends in the Proportion of Women Physician Speakers at Major Cardiovascular Conferences. Circulation. 2021 Feb 16; 143(7):755-757.
  8. Bittl JA, Yong CM, Sharma G. When to Believe Unexpected Results for Ticagrelor or Prasugrel: Never Rarely Sometimes Always. JACC. Cardiovascular interventions. 2020 Oct 12; 13(19):2248-2250.
  9. Yong CM, Ang L, Welt FGP, Gummidipundi S, Henry TD, Pinto DS, Cox D, Wang P, Asch S, Mahmud E, Fearon WF, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Interventional Council. Cardiac procedural deferral during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions : Official Journal of The Society For Cardiac Angiography & Interventions. 2020 Nov 1; 96(5):1080-1086.
  10. Yong CM, Bittl JA. Integrating the ABC-Bleeding Risk Score Into Practice. JAMA Network Open. 2020 Sep 1; 3(9):e2016126.
  11. Yong CM, Tremmel JA, Lansberg MG, Fan J, Askari M, Turakhia MP. Sex Differences in Oral Anticoagulation and Outcomes of Stroke and Intracranial Bleeding in Newly Diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2020 May 18; 9(10):e015689.
  12. Manjunath L, Chung S, Li J, Shah H, Palaniappan L, Yong CM. Heterogeneity of Treatment and Outcomes Among Asians With Coronary Artery Disease in the United States. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2020 May 18; 9(10):e014362.
  13. Yong C. COVID-19: The Isolation That Has Brought Us Together. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2020 May 26; 75(20):2639-2641.
  14. Abnousi F, Kang G, Giacomini J, Yeung A, Zarafshar S, Vesom N, Ashley E, Harrington R, Yong C. A novel noninvasive method for remote heart failure monitoring: the EuleriAn video Magnification apPLications In heart Failure studY (AMPLIFY). NPJ digital medicine. 2019 Aug 21; 2:80.
  15. Yong CM, Sundaram V, Abnousi F, Olivier CB, Yang J, Stone GW, Steg PG, Michael Gibson C, Hamm CW, Price MJ, Deliargyris EN, Prats J, White HD, Harrington RA, Bhatt DL, Mahaffey KW, CHAMPION PHOENIX Investigators. The efficacy and safety of cangrelor in single vessel vs multivessel percutaneous coronary intervention: Insights from CHAMPION PHOENIX. Clinical Cardiology. 2019 Jun 29.
  16. Yong CM, Abnousi F, Rzeszut AK, Douglas PS, Harrington RA, Mehran R, Grines C, Altin SE, Duvernoy CS, American College of Cardiology Women in Cardiology Leadership Council (ACC WIC) , Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Women in Innovations (SCAI WIN). Sex Differences in the Pursuit of Interventional Cardiology as a Subspecialty Among Cardiovascular Fellows-in-Training. JACC. Cardiovascular interventions. 2019 Feb 11; 12(3):219-228.

DRA: Cardiovascular Disease
DRE: None at this time.
Keywords: None at this time.
MeSH Terms: None at this time.

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