Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices as Destination Therapy

Division of Cardiology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
Circulation Heart Failure (Impact Factor: 5.89). 11/2011; 5(1):10-6. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.111.962951
Source: PubMed


Continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have become the dominant devices for mechanical circulatory support, but their cost-effectiveness is undetermined. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of continuous-flow devices for destination therapy versus optimal medical management in advanced heart failure and compared the results with previous estimates for pulsatile devices.
A Markov model was developed to assess cost-effectiveness. Survival, hospitalization rates, quality of life, and cost data were obtained for advanced heart failure patients treated medically or with a continuous-flow LVAD. Rates of clinical outcomes for all patients were obtained from clinical trial databases. Medicare prospective payments were used to estimate the cost of heart failure admissions. The cost of LVAD implantation was obtained prospectively from hospital claims within a clinical trial. Compared with medically managed patients, continuous-flow LVAD patients had higher 5-year costs ($360 407 versus $62 856), quality-adjusted life years (1.87 versus 0.37), and life years (2.42 versus 0.64). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of the continuous-flow device was $198 184 per quality-adjusted life year and $167 208 per life year. This equates to a 75% reduction in incremental cost-effectiveness ratio compared with the $802 700 per quality-adjusted life year for the pulsatile-flow device. The results were most sensitive to the cost of device implantation, long-term survival, cost per rehospitalization, and utility associated with patients' functional status.
The cost-effectiveness associated with continuous-flow LVADs for destination therapy has improved significantly relative to the pulsatile flow devices. This change is explained by significant improvements in survival and functional status and reduction in implantation costs.

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Available from: Mark J Russo, Sep 14, 2015
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    • "Upfront costs can be significant, as initial hospitalization for DT implantation is approximately 128,000 USD [13], improved from 210,000 USD with pulsatile-flow devices [14]. Despite dramatic reduction in the cost of post-DT care, as well as improved procedure-associated morbidity and mortality [2] "
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    ABSTRACT: Significant strides have been made in the durability, portability, and safety of mechanical circulatory support devices (MCS). Although transplant is considered the standard treatment for advanced heart failure, limits in organ availability leave a much larger pool of recipients in need versus donors. MCS is used as bridge to transplantation and as destination therapy (DT) for patients who will have MCS as their final invasive therapy with transplant not being an option. Despite improvements in quality of life (QOL) and survival, defining the optimal candidate for DT may raise questions regarding the economics of this approach as well as ethical concerns regarding just distribution of goods and services. This paper highlights some of the key ethical issues related to justice and the costs of life-prolonging therapies with respect to resource allocations. Available literature, current debates, and future directions are discussed herein.
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    • "However, there is no strong evidence that LVAD is a cost-effective choice of treatment for bridge to transplant patient group [21,22]. A recent study from Roger JG [23] at el indicate that LVADs appear beneficial, improve survival and quality of life but also that the cost per quality adjusted life year was high. Although LVADs may appear clinically effective as an alternative to HTx it is unlikely they will be cost-effective unless a significant cost decrease and a reduction in complications and a quality of life, will be proven. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent outstanding clinical advances with new mechanical circulatory systems (MCS) have led to additional strategies in the treatment of end stage heart failure (HF). Heart transplantation (HTx) can be postponed and for certain patients even replaced by smaller implantable left ventricular assist devices (LVAD). Mechanical support of the failing left ventricle enables appropriate hemodynamic stabilisation and recovery of secondary organ failure, often seen in these severely ill patients. These new devices may be of great help to bridge patients until a suitable cardiac allograft is available but are also discussed as definitive treatment for patients who do not qualify for transplantation. Main indications for LVAD implantation are bridge to recovery, bridge to transplantation or destination therapy. LVAD may be an important tool for patients with an expected prolonged period on the waiting list, for instance those with blood group 0 or B, with a body weight over 90 kg and those with potentially reversible secondary organ failure and pulmonary artery hypertension. However, LVAD implantation means an additional heart operation with inherent peri-operative risks and complications during the waiting period. Finally, cardiac transplantation in patients with prior implantation of a LVAD represents a surgical challenge. This review summarises the current knowledge about LVAD and continuous flow devices especially since the latter have been increasingly used worldwide in the most recent years. The review is also based on the institutional experience at Berne University Hospital between 2000 and 2012. Apart from short-term devices (Impella, Cardiac Assist, Deltastream and ECMO) which were used in approximately 150 cases, 85 pulsatile long-term LVAD, RVAD or bi-VAD and 44 non-pulsatile LVAD (mainly HeartMateII and HeartWare) were implanted. After an initial learning curve, one-year mortality dropped to 10.4% in the last 58 patients.
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