Evaluation of the cost of atrial fibrillation during emergency hospitalization.
Acta Cardiol. 2013 Oct;68(5):469-74
Authors: Pirson M, Di Pierdomenico L, Gusman J, Baré B, Fontaine D, Motte S
OBJECTIVE: The number of hospitalizations for atrial fibrillation has increased dramatically. This increase, in the number of hospital stays will continue, given the growth projections based on epidemiological data, and will contribute to significantly increase expenses for the social security system.The objective of this study was to evaluate the length of hospital stay, the average cost borne by social security, and the types of hospital stay expenditures for patients admitted through the emergency department for atrial fibrillation.
METHODS: Patients were identified by using the minimal clinical summaries of seven general hospitals in Belgium in 2008. Only hospitalized patients having as primary diagnosis code ICD-9-CM 42731 'atrial fibrillation'were selected for this study. Hospital billing files were analysed in order to isolate the costs borne by social security. Outliers were isolated in order not to have results influenced by patients having an atypical length of stay.
RESULTS: Results show that the mean length of stay was 8.6 days and the mean cost charged to social security was euro 3,066.02 per hospital stay.The mean cost of care was strongly associated with the degree of severity index related to the APR-DRG. Approximately 85% of the total cost was related to the cost of hospital days and medical procedures with medical imaging and laboratory tests being the two main cost inductors. 18% of patients had cardioversion during their hospital stay, including 4% who had only that treatment. 19% of patients used amiodarone. Flecainide and propafenone were also used, but less frequently.
CONCLUSIONS: The mean cost of care for AF patients admitted via the emergency department is strongly associated with the degree of severity. Approximately 85% of the total cost is related to the cost of hospital days and medical procedures. Hypertension is the most common secondary diagnosis. An optimal treatment of this risk factor could help to reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, and thereby reduce the morbidity and costs associated with this disease.
PMID: 24283107 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]