Hospital Readmissions in US Atrial Fibrillation Patients: Occurrence and Costs

1Department of Medicine, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Irvine, CA 2Department of Evidence Based Medicine, sanofi-aventis Inc, Bridgewater, NJ 3Department of Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Novosys Health, Flemington, NJ.
American journal of therapeutics (Impact Factor: 1.13). 11/2012; 20(2). DOI: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e3182512c7e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to examine the temporal readmission pattern, proportion of readmissions attributed to cardiovascular (CV) causes, and the duration and costs associated with readmission in hospitalized patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF/AFL). This retrospective cohort study used medical claims data from the PharMetrics Patient-Centric database (IMS Health, Watertown, MA) between January 2007 and March 2008. The patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of AF/AFL and with ≥12 months' continuous medical and prescription coverage before and after the initial AF/AFL hospitalization were identified from this database. The main outcome measures were rehospitalization patterns [all-cause, all CV-related (including AF/AFL), and AF/AFL-related only], which were assessed over the 12-month post-index period, and costs of initial and subsequent AF/AFL-related hospitalizations that were compared. The study included 8035 patients with AF/AFL (mean age 66.1 years; 57.6% males). Rehospitalization was common (37.9% of patients), with the most frequent causes being CV (34.1%) and, specifically, AF/AFL-related (26.8%). The highest proportion of rehospitalizations occurred within 30 days of the initial hospitalization (25%). Readmissions with a primary diagnosis of AF/AFL (n = 1238) were significantly longer (4.0 vs. 3.6 days; P = 0.0229) and more costly (US$8966 vs. US$7080; P < 0.0001) than the index hospitalization. Hospitalized AF/AFL patients experience high rates of CV- and AF/AFL-related readmissions, particularly within the first 30 days. Subsequent AF/AFL-related readmissions incur higher costs than the initial AF/AFL hospitalization. Treatments resulting in reduced readmissions would improve patient outcomes, quality of life and the cost burden associated with AF/AFL.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Atrial fibrillation and heart failure often coexist, causing substantial cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. β blockers are indicated in patients with symptomatic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction; however, the efficacy of these drugs in patients with concomitant atrial fibrillation is uncertain. We therefore meta-analysed individual-patient data to assess the efficacy of β blockers in patients with heart failure and sinus rhythm compared with atrial fibrillation. Methods We extracted individual-patient data from ten randomised controlled trials of the comparison of β blockers versus placebo in heart failure. The presence of sinus rhythm or atrial fibrillation was ascertained from the baseline electrocardiograph. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Analysis was by intention to treat. Outcome data were meta-analysed with an adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression. The study is registered with, number NCT0083244, and PROSPERO, number CRD42014010012. Findings 18 254 patients were assessed, and of these 13 946 (76%) had sinus rhythm and 3066 (17%) had atrial fibrillation at baseline. Crude death rates over a mean follow-up of 1·5 years (SD 1·1) were 16% (2237 of 13 945) in patients with sinus rhythm and 21% (633 of 3064) in patients with atrial fibrillation. β-blocker therapy led to a significant reduction in all-cause mortality in patients with sinus rhythm (hazard ratio 0·73, 0·67–0·80; p<0·001), but not in patients with atrial fibrillation (0·97, 0·83–1·14; p=0·73), with a significant p value for interaction of baseline rhythm (p=0·002). The lack of efficacy for the primary outcome was noted in all subgroups of atrial fibrillation, including age, sex, left ventricular ejection fraction, New York Heart Association class, heart rate, and baseline medical therapy. Interpretation Based on our findings, β blockers should not be used preferentially over other rate-control medications and not regarded as standard therapy to improve prognosis in patients with concomitant heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Funding Menarini Farmaceutica Internazionale (administrative support grant).
    The Lancet 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61373-8 · 39.21 Impact Factor
  • AACN Advanced Critical Care 07/2014; 25(3):205-212. DOI:10.1097/NCI.0000000000000027
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: Patients with persistent or longstanding atrial fibrillation have modest success achieving sinus rhythm with catheter ablation or rhythm control medications. Their high risk of stroke, bleed, and heart failure leads to significant morbidity and health care costs. The Convergent Procedure has been shown to be successful in this population, with 80% of patients in sinus rhythm after one year. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the Convergent Procedure, catheter ablation, and medical management for non-paroxysmal AF patients. Methods: A Markov micro-simulation model was used to estimate costs and effectiveness from a payer perspective. Parameter estimates were from the literature. Three patient cohorts were simulated, representing lower, medium, and higher risks of stroke, bleed, heart failure, and hospitalization. Effects were estimated by quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Single-variable sensitivity analysis was performed. Results: After five years, Convergent Procedure patients averaged 1.10 procedures, with 75% of survivors in sinus rhythm; catheter ablation patients had 1.65 procedures, with 49% in sinus rhythm. Compared to medical management, catheter ablation and the Convergent Procedure were cost-effective for the lower risk (ICER < $35,000) and medium risk (ICER < $15,000) cohorts. The procedures dominated medical management for the higher risk cohort (lower cost and higher QALYs). The Convergent Procedure dominated catheter ablation for all risk cohorts. Results were subject to simplifying assumptions and limited by uncertain factors such as long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm after successful procedure and incremental AF-associated event rates for AF patients relative to patients in sinus rhythm. Absent clinical trial data, Convergent Procedure efficacy was estimated with observational evidence. Limitations were addressed with sensitivity analyses and a moderate five year time horizon. Conclusion: The Convergent Procedure results in superior maintenance of post-ablation sinus rhythm with fewer repeat ablation procedures compared to catheter ablation, leading to lower cost and higher QALYs after five years.
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