Analysis of Sinus Balloon Catheter Dilation Providers Based on Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data

Teona Munteanu, Elisabeth H. Ference, Arman Danielian, Vidit M. Talati, Robert C. Kern, Jean Anderson Eloy, Stephanie Shintani Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The use of balloon catheter dilation (BCD) to treat chronic rhinosinusitis has increased dramatically since its conception, necessitating further characterization of BCD providers and trends in its usage. Medicare data on BCD providers have made it possible to study recent demographic patterns. There has also been an increase in mid-level providers’ scope of otolaryngologic practice that is not well defined. Objective: To better understand BCD adoption by studying volume of BCD procedures as well as training, geography, and practice socioeconomic characteristics of BCD providers for Medicare beneficiaries. Methods: We reviewed Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data Public Use Files for 2014 and 2015 for providers with claims for BCD of the sinuses. We extracted provider zip code, state, gender, and number of services per BCD code. We obtained median household income by zip code and geographic region based on US Census Bureau data. Providers were classified using an Internet search to determine practice setting and type of specialty training/certification. Results: In 2014 and 2015, 428 providers performed 42 494 BCDs billed to Medicare beneficiaries. Among BCD providers, 5.1% were female, 98.1% had Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine credentials, and 1.9% had nurse practitioner/physician assistant credentials. Over the 2-year period, the median number of BCDs was 63 for physicians and 37 for mid-level providers. Fellowship-trained rhinologists performed a median of 38 BCDs over 2 years. The most common subspecialty certification/training was in facial plastics and reconstructive surgery. The majority of providers (63.8%) performed 1 to 99 BCDs over the 2 years. In the South, there were 21.9 BCD procedures performed per 100 000 people compared to 7.3 in the Northeast, 9.3 in the Midwest, and 8.5 in the West. Conclusion: There is a large range in total BCD procedures performed by individual providers, and this varies by certain provider characteristics. Mid-level providers have emerged as a significant population performing BCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-470
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Medicare
  • balloon catheter dilation
  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • mid-level provider
  • nurse practitioner
  • physician assistant
  • rhinologist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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