This study states that Immediate-access arteriovenous grafts (IAAVGs), or early cannulation arteriovenous grafts (AVGs), are more expensive than standard grafts (sAVGs) but can be used immediately after placement, reducing the need for a tunneled dialysis catheter (TDC). We hypothesized that a decrease in TDC-related complications would make IAAVGs a cost-effective alternative to sAVGs.

We constructed a Markov state-transition model in which patients initially received either an IAAVG or an sAVG and a TDC until graft usability; patients were followed through multiple subsequent access procedures for a 60-month time horizon. The model simulated mortality and typical graft- and TDC-related complications, with parameter estimates including probabilities, costs, and utilities derived from previous literature. A key parameter was median time to TDC removal after graft placement, which was studied under both real-world (7 days for IAAVG and 70 days for sAVG) and ideal (no TDC placed with IAAVG and 1 month for sAVG) conditions. Costs were based on current Medicare reimbursement rates and reflect a payer perspective. 

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