Utilization of Left Ventricular Assist Device for Congestive Heart Failure: Inputs on Demographic and Hospital Characterization From Nationwide Inpatient Sample

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Jul 1;13(7):e16094. doi: 10.7759/cureus.16094. eCollection 2021 Jul.


Objectives The first goal of the study is to provide a descriptive overview of the utilization of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) for the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) and determine the rates of LVAD use stratified by patients' demographic and hospitals' characteristics in the United States. Next, is to measure the hospitalization outcomes of length of stay (LOS) and cost in inpatients managed with LVAD. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study using the nationwide inpatient sample and included 184,115 patients (age ≥65 years) with a primary discharge diagnosis of hypertensive and non-hypertensive CHF and was further classified by inpatients who were managed with LVAD. We compared the distributions of demographic and hospital characteristics in CHF inpatients with versus without LVAD by performing Pearson's chi-square test for categorical variables, and independent sample t-test for continuous variables. Results The inpatient utilization of LVAD was 0.93% (1690 out of 184,115) in CHF patients. The LVAD cohort were younger compared to non-LVAD group (mean age, 69.9 years vs. 79.4 years). The utilization rate of LVAD was also almost four times higher in males (1.50%) compared to females (0.36%). Although whites (78.5%) accounted for majority of LVAD recipients, the rate of LVAD utilization was highest in blacks (1.04%) and lowest in Hispanics (0.58%) with whites having utilization rate of 0.89%. Medicare was the dominant primary payer to cover the LVAD inpatients (91.1%), though the rate of LVAD utilization is highest in private (2.22%) and lowest in those covered by public insurance (medicaid/medicare). CHF patients in public hospitals (1.79%) were more than twice more likely to receive LVAD than in private hospitals (0.83%) due to higher utilization rate. LVAD utilization rate was approximately 55 times higher in teaching hospitals (1.67%) compared to non-teaching hospitals (0.03%), and 20 times higher in large bed hospitals (1.41%) compared to small bed-size hospitals (0.07%). CHF patients that received LVAD had a significantly longer LOS (34.6 days vs 9.8 days) and higher inpatient treatment costs ($802,118 vs. $86,302) compared to non-LVAD group. Conclusion The inpatient utilization of LVAD was in CHF patients is higher in males, blacks and private health insurance beneficiaries. In terms of hospital characteristics, the utilization of LVAD for CHF management was higher in large bed sized, and public type and teaching hospitals compared to their counterparts. This data will allow us to devise strategies to improve LVAD utilization and increase its outreach for heart failure patients, especially those on the transplant waiting list. Despite its effectiveness, aggressive usage of LVAD is restricted due to cost-effectiveness and lack of technical confidence among medical professional due to complications.

PMID:34367750 | PMC:PMC8330485 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.16094

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.