Disparities in Access to Spasticity Chemodenervation Specialists in the United States A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study

Rashid Kazerooni, Sean Healy, Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the study is to explore variations in access to spasticity chemodenervation specialists across several geographical, ethnic, racial, and population density factors. Design: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study on Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data. Providers with substantial adult spasticity chemodenervation practices were included. Ratios were assessed across geographical regions as well as hospital referral regions. A multivariate linear regression model for the top 100 hospital referral regions by beneficiary population was created, using backward stepwise selection to eliminate variables with P values > 0.10 from final model. Results: A total of 566 providers with spasticity chemodenervation practices were included. Unadjusted results showed lower access in nonurban versus urban areas in the form of higher patient:provider ratios (83,106 vs. 51,897). Access was also lower in areas with ≥25% Hispanic populations (141,800 vs. 58,600). Multivariate linear regression results showed similar findings with urban hospital referral regions having significantly lower ratios (−45,764 [P = 0.004] vs. nonurban) and areas with ≥25% Hispanic populations having significantly higher ratios (+96,249 [P = 0.003] vs. <25% Hispanic areas). Conclusions: Patients in nonurban and highly Hispanic communities face inequities in access to chemodenervation specialists. The Medicare data set analyzed only includes 12% of the US patient population; however, this elderly national cross-sectional cohort represents a saturated share of patients needing access to spasticity chemodenervation therapy. Future studies should venture to confirm whether findings are limited to this specialization, and strategies to improve access for these underserved communities should be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • Botulinum Toxin
  • Chemodernervation
  • Health Equity
  • Hispanic
  • Spasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Disparities in Access to Spasticity Chemodenervation Specialists in the United States A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this