Stakeholder Perspective: The Clinical Toll of Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation Poses Significant Economic Burden

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BACKGROUND: Understanding the economic implications of oral anticoagulation therapy requires careful consideration of the risks and costs of stroke and major hemorrhage. The majority of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) are aged ≥65 years, so focusing on the Medicare population is reasonable when discussing the risk for stroke.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relative economic burden associated with stroke and major hemorrhage among Medicare beneficiaries who are newly diagnosed with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).

METHODS: This study was a retrospective analysis of a 5% sample of Medicare claims data for patients with NVAF from 2006 to 2008. Patients with NVAF without any claims of AF during the 12 months before the first (index) claim for AF in 2007 (baseline period) were identified and were classified into 4 cohorts during a 12-month follow-up period after the index date. These cohorts included (1) no claims for ischemic stroke or major hemorrhage (without stroke or hemorrhage); (2) no claims for ischemic stroke and ≥1 claims for major hemorrhage (hemorrhage only); (3) ≥1 claims for ischemic stroke and no major hemorrhage claims (stroke only); and (4) ≥1 claims each for ischemic stroke and for major hemorrhage (stroke and hemorrhage). The 1-year mean postindex total all-cause healthcare costs adjusted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) score were compared among the study cohorts.

RESULTS: Of the 9455 eligible patients included in this study, 3% (N = 261) of the patients had ischemic stroke claims only, 3% (N = 276) had hemorrhage claims only, and

CONCLUSION: The economic burden of managing patients with NVAF who experience ischemic stroke and hemorrhage were similarly significant during the first year after a diagnosis of NVAF. The burden of major bleeding complications on patients, clinicians, and payers should not be overlooked, and these complications should be considered in conjunction with the cost-savings associated with ischemic stroke risk reduction in future cost-benefit evaluations of oral anticoagulation therapy.





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Dr. Singer's article begins on page 208 and is located at the end of Katherine Fitch'sarticle. Please scroll down to page 208 to see his "Stakeholder's Perspective."


Other Medical Specialties | Surgery



Peer Reviewed for front end display



Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Faculty, USF-LVHN SELECT Program Faculty

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