J Blood Med. 2021 May 28;12:369-376. doi: 10.2147/JBM.S271478. eCollection 2021.
BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism is a significant clinical event, with an annual incidence of 1-2 per 1000 population. Risk factors include recent surgery, prolonged immobility, oral contraceptive use, and active cancer. Inherited risks include protein C and S deficiencies, antithrombin deficiency, factor V Leiden mutation and prothrombin. These factors can be tested to guide therapy, but current evidence suggests that testing for inherited thrombophilia is not recommended in most inpatient settings. In the era of high value care, hypercoagulable testing for VTE creates a financial burden for the hospital and patients. We performed a retrospective chart review of hypercoagulable orders on VTE patients at our institution.
METHODS: Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. A total of 287 adult patients admitted over a 3-month period with the diagnosis of VTE were included. Patients were identified via ICD-10 codes and data were collected from electronic medical records. Patient characteristics, provoked versus unprovoked VTE, and relative contraindications for hypercoagulability work-up were analyzed. Our primary outcome was to assess the appropriateness of thrombophilia testing in VTE patients based on screening guidelines. Our secondary outcome was to analyze the cost burden of ordering these tests.
RESULTS: A total of 287 patients were included in our data analysis. Patient risk factors for VTE were malignancy, previous DVT, immobilization, surgery 3 months prior, and central line placement. Fifty-seven of 287 patients had at least one hypercoagulable test ordered during hospitalization which did not adhere to guidelines. Misuse of testing occurred during active thrombosis, active anticoagulation, presence of risk factors, first episode of VTE, and malignancy. The cost of ordering these 5 thrombophilia tests totaled over $40,000.
CONCLUSION: In our study, numerous patients were tested without compliance to standard recommendations, which created financial and value-based burdens on our health care system. Increased awareness among clinicians is thus warranted to ensure high value care.