Medicare Beneficiaries Experience Complications With Cardiac Devices
One in 10 Medicare beneficiaries who receive implantable cardioverter defibrillators experience complications that extend hospital stays and increase costs, according to a study published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, USA Today reports. For the study, Matthew Reynolds of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and colleague examined 31,000 cases of Medicare beneficiaries who received ICDs.
The study finds that implantation of ICDs costs about $42,184 and that complications, such as kidney failure and blood clots, can extend hospital stays by more than three days and add about $7,250 to the cost of the procedure. According to the study, such complications add $70 million to $75 million in costs for Medicare and private health insurers for the 100,000 ICDs implanted annually.
Reynolds said, "The complication rates were at least twice as high as have been reported in most clinical trials."
Marcel Salive of CMS, said, "There's certainly an indication here that things can be improved." He added that CMS hopes to use a registry of 51,000 patients to determine the cause of the high rate of complications among those who receive ICDs and to develop proposals to address the issue (Sternberg, USA Today, 6/26).
An abstract of the study is available online.