Objective: To measure relative employer-sponsored postablation costs for cardiac arrhythmias (CA), specifically atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methods: Regression-Controlled Employee/Spouse Database study (2001 to 2008) comparing CA patients with and without ablation and AF patients with and without ablation. Regression-adjusted monthly medical, pharmacy, sick leave, and short-term disability costs were calculated 11 months before index to 36 months after index (first ablation date or average date for nonablation patients). Relative pre/postindex comparisons between ablation and nonablation cohorts were calculated and time until ablation procedure cost recovery extrapolated.
Results: Few CA (280 of 11,291; 2.48%) and AF (93 of 3062; 3.04%) patients received ablation. Ablation cohorts cost less than nonablation cohorts postablation. Estimated total ablation-period costs were recovered 38 to 50 months postablation, including employee absence payment recovery within 18 months.
Conclusion: Current ablation use in employer-sponsored health plans may improve health care and absence costs over time.