Journal of medical economics 2017 11 10() 1-15 doi 10.1080/13696998.2017.1403922
This study investigated annual medical costs using real-world data focusing on acute heart failure.
The data were retrospectively collected from 6 tertiary hospitals in South Korea. Overall, about 330 patients who were hospitalized for acute heart failure between January 2011 and July 2012 were selected. We collected data on their follow-up medical visits for one year, including medical costs incurred toward treatment. Those who died within the observational period or who had no records of follow-up visits were excluded. We estimated annual per patient medical costs according to the type of medical services, and analyzed factors contributing to the costs using Gamma Generalized Linear Models (GLM) with log link.
On average, total annual medical costs for each patient were USD 6,199 (± 9,675), with hospitalization accounting for 95% of the total expenses. Hospitalization cost USD 5,904 (±9,666) per patient. Those who are re-admitted have 88.5% higher medical expenditure than those who have not been re-admitted in one year, and patients using intensive care units have 19.6% higher expenditure than those who do not. When the number of hospital days increased by one day, medical expenses increased by 6.7%.
Outpatient drug costs were not included. There is a possibility that medical expenses for AHF may have been underestimated.
We found that hospitalization resulted in substantial costs for treatment of heart failure in South Korea, especially in patients with an acute heart failure event. Prevention strategies and appropriate management programs that would reduce both frequency of hospitalization and length of stay for patients with the underlying risk of heart failure are needed.