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BMC Health Serv Res. 2012 Nov 30;12:434. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-12-434.

Predicting costs of care in heart failure patients.

Author information

1
The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, 3800 N, Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97227, USA. David.h.smith@kpchr.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Identifying heart failure patients most likely to suffer poor outcomes is an essential part of delivering interventions to those most likely to benefit. We sought a comprehensive account of heart failure events and their cumulative economic burden by examining patient characteristics that predict increased cost or poor outcomes.

METHODS:

We collected electronic medical data from members of a large HMO who had a heart failure diagnosis and an echocardiogram from 1999-2004, and followed them for one year. We examined the role of demographics, clinical and laboratory findings, comorbid disease and whether the heart failure was incident, as well as mortality. We used regression methods appropriate for censored cost data.

RESULTS:

Of the 4,696 patients, 8% were incident. Several diseases were associated with significantly higher and economically relevant cost changes, including atrial fibrillation (15% higher), coronary artery disease (14% higher), chronic lung disease (29% higher), depression (36% higher), diabetes (38% higher) and hyperlipidemia (21% higher). Some factors were associated with costs in a counterintuitive fashion (i.e. lower costs in the presence of the factor) including age, ejection fraction and anemia. But anemia and ejection fraction were also associated with a higher death rate.

CONCLUSIONS:

Close control of factors that are independently associated with higher cost or poor outcomes may be important for disease management. Analysis of costs in a disease like heart failure that has a high death rate underscores the need for economic methods to consider how mortality should best be considered in costing studies.

PMID:
23194470
PMCID:
PMC3527310
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6963-12-434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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