To describe national practice patterns and detail geographic and temporal changes in cochlear implantations (CIs) in the Medicare population.
Medicare B Public Use Files.
Medicare B fee-for-service patients who underwent CI from 2012 to 2019.
Cochlear implantations (Current Procedural Terminology code 69930).
Main Outcome Measures
Medicare Part B Public Use Files were used to identify all individual providers who performed CIs from 2012 to 2019. The total number of CIs performed annually was calculated for hospital referral regions (HRRs) as well as U.S. census regions to describe geographic variations and changes over the study period. Average Medicare reimbursement rates were tabulated.
From 2012 of 2019, the number of CIs performed in the Medicare population increased from 1,239 to 2,429, representing a 96.0% increase. In each of the four U.S. census regions, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of CIs performed over the study period. However, of 306 HRR in the United States, cochlear implants were performed in only 117 (38.2%), with the median number of CIs in each HRRs 16.7 (interquartile range, 13–24.2) per year. The median weighted average Medicare reimbursement was $1205.49 (interquartile range, 1161.65–1253.46).
The number of CIs in the Medicare population has increased from 2012 to 2019. However, widespread geographic variations continue to persist in the United States and represent opportunities toward identifying and acting on the etiologies of persistent disparities in CI.