Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) therapy is increasingly utilized to support patients in end-stage heart failure. However, VAD programs are resource intensive and demand active monitoring in order to ensure long term sustainability. The purpose of this study was to analyze total cost trends of the VAD program at our academic medical center.
Retrospective analysis of UCLA's VAD program between years 2013-2014 was performed. Total in-hospital costs from the date of VAD surgery admission were queried and normalized to a Z-score. Multivariable linear regression analysis with step-wise elimination was used to model total costs.
Overall, 42 patients received a VAD during the study period, with 19 (45%) receiving biventricular support. On univariate analysis, high body mass index, biventricular support, time between VAD implantation and discharge, and total length of hospital stay were correlated with higher costs (all p<0.02). On multivariable analysis, time between VAD implantation and discharge and biventricular support remained significantly related to total costs (Overall R2 = 0.831, p<0.001).
The time between VAD implantation and discharge & the use of biventricular support were the most predictive factors of total cost in our VAD population. Reducing hospital stay post VAD implantation is important in minimizing the cost of VAD care.
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