Early vs late filling of new heart failure prescription and its association with avoidable hospital admissions

Link to article at PubMed

J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2023 Apr;29(4):350-356. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2023.29.4.350.


BACKGROUND: Individuals with heart failure (HF) are at increased risk for hospitalization and readmission after discharge. The impact of timing to new prescription filling on avoidable HF hospitalization is understudied in HF management. The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality identifies HF-related inpatient admissions as potentially avoidable if they could be managed successfully in outpatient settings. OBJECTIVE: To compare avoidable HF hospitalization rate and all-cause and HF-related costs in patients who were early fillers (≤30 days) vs late fillers (>30 days) of newly prescribed HF medications following an HF-related inpatient stay or emergency department visit. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study used the Humana Research Database to identify patients with at least 1 claim for a new HF medication from January 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. Eligible patients were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan for at least 12 months pre-index and 6-months post-index (ie, first new HF prescription). Individuals who were early (n = 794) vs late fillers (n = 397) were propensity-score matched in a 2:1 ratio to balance baseline characteristics. A logistic regression model was fitted to compare avoidable HF hospitalization in those who were late fillers vs early fillers. Mean cost differences were compared using paired t-test. Outcomes were measured 6-months post-index. RESULTS: Late fillers had greater odds of experiencing an avoidable HF hospitalization compared with early fillers (odds ratio = 1.65; P = 0.001). Late filling was associated with a 49.5% increase in average all-cause medical costs (P < 0.0001), a 13.6% decrease in average all-cause pharmacy costs (P = 0.0929), and a 39.4% increase in average all-cause total costs (P < 0.0001). HF-related costs showed similar trends. CONCLUSION: Compared with patients who filled their prescription within 30 days of discharge following an HF admission, those who delayed the filling of a new HF prescription experienced increased likelihood of an avoidable readmission, and late filling was associated with increased 6-month total and medical costs. DISCLOSURES: Humana Healthcare Research, Inc., funded the research and article development. No external funds were used in the creation of this work. All authors are/were employees of Humana Inc. and/or Humana Healthcare Research, Inc., at the time of the work.

PMID:36989445 | DOI:10.18553/jmcp.2023.29.4.350

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