PloS one 2018 01 0513(1) e0190979 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0190979
Patients with heart failure (HF) are reportedly at high risk for ‘all-cause’ re-hospitalization. A biomarker for HF, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), enables to simply detect patients with possible HF (pHF). We examined the hospitalization and medical cost of Japanese patients detected by an elevated serum NT-proBNP, and also evaluated the effects of institutional team approaches for HF on their all-cause hospitalizations.
We retrospectively extracted all adult patients with serum NT-proBNP ≥400 pg/ml measured between January and March 2012 in Hiroshima University Hospital as pHF-positive patients. We studied their all-cause hospitalization records during the past 3-year period. We also extracted all pHF-negative patients with NT-proBNP <400 pg/ml and studied as well. In the pHF-positive patients followed for 3 years after starting interprofessional team approaches to prevent the onset and exacerbation of HF in the hospital, we compared the hospitalization and medical cost between the 3-year periods before and after the start of the team approaches. RESULTS
We enrolled 432 pHF-positive and 485 pHF-negative patients with one or more hospitalization records. Compared to the pHF-negative patients, the pHF-positive patients had longer total hospitalization days (median [interquartile range], 30 [13-58] versus. 18 [8-39], p <0.0001) and higher total medical cost for hospitalizations (2.42 [1.07-5.08] versus. 1.80 [0.79-3.65] million yen, p <0.0001). A subset of 303 pHF-positive patients was followed for 3 years after starting the team approaches, and we found that both total hospitalization days (30 [13-57] to 8 [0-31]) and medical cost for hospitalizations (2.59 [1.37-5.05] to 0.76 [0-2.38] million yen) showed marked reduction in them. CONCLUSIONS
Patients with an elevated serum NT-proBNP have longer hospitalizations and higher costs for all-cause hospitalizations than those without. Institutional team approaches for HF may reduce them.