AIMS: Patients receiving cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) are likely to undergo one or more device replacements, mainly for battery depletion. We assessed the economic impact of battery depletion on the overall cost of CRT-D treatment from the perspectives of the healthcare system and the hospital. We also compared devices of different generations and from different manufacturers in terms of therapy cost.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We analysed data on 1792 CRT-Ds implanted in 1399 patients in 9 Italian centres. We calculated the replacement probability and the total therapy cost over 6 years, stratified by device generation and manufacturer. Public tariffs from diagnosis-related groups were used together with device prices and hospitalization costs. Generators were from 3 manufacturers: Boston Scientific (667, 37%), Medtronic (973, 54%), and St Jude Medical (152, 9%). The replacement probability at 6 years was 83 and 68% for earlier- and recent-generation devices, respectively. The need for replacement increased total therapy costs by more than 50% over the initial implantation cost for hospitals and by more than 30% for healthcare system. The improved longevity of recent-generation CRT-Ds reduced the therapy cost by ∼6% in both perspectives. Among recent-generation CRT-Ds, the replacement probability of devices from different manufacturers ranged from 12 to 70%. Consequently, the maximum difference in therapy cost between manufacturers was 40% for hospitals and 19% for the healthcare system.
CONCLUSIONS: Differences in CRT-D longevity strongly affect the overall therapy cost. While the use of recent-generation devices has reduced the cost, significant differences exist among currently available systems.
- Journal Article