Insertable cardiac monitors (ICMs) are a clinically effective means of detecting atrial fibrillation (AF) in high-risk patients, and guiding the initiation of non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs). Their cost-effectiveness from a US clinical payer perspective is not yet known. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of ICMs compared to standard of care (SoC) for detecting AF in patients at high risk of stroke (CHADS ≥ 2), in the US.
Using patient data from the REVEAL AF trial (n = 393, average CHADS score = 2.9), a Markov model estimated the lifetime costs and benefits of detecting AF with an ICM or with SoC (specifically intermittent use of electrocardiograms and 24-h Holter monitors). Ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, intra- and extra-cranial hemorrhages, and minor bleeds were modelled. Diagnostic and device costs, costs of treating stroke and bleeding events and medical therapy-specifically costs of NOACs were included. Costs and health outcomes, measured as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), were discounted at 3% per annum, in line with standard practice in the US setting. One-way deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSA) were undertaken.
Lifetime per-patient cost for ICM was $31,116 versus $25,330 for SoC. ICMs generated a total of 7.75 QALYs versus 7.59 for SoC, with 34 fewer strokes projected per 1000 patients. The model estimates a number needed to treat of 29 per stroke avoided. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $35,528 per QALY gained. ICMs were cost-effective in 75% of PSA simulations, using a $50,000 per QALY threshold, and a 100% probability of being cost-effective at a WTP threshold of $150,000 per QALY.
The use of ICMs to identify AF in a high-risk population is likely to be cost-effective in the US healthcare setting.

© 2023. The Author(s).