Three patients were bridged to heart transplantation with the wearable Novacor Left Ventricular Assist System (Baxter Healthcare Corp., Oakland, CA) (LVAS). Two have been transplanted and discharged. The third patient remains at home. Hospitalization costs, which include the unit room charge, admission profile to the unit, and daily supply charge, were determined for all patients and compared. The patients were transferred from the surgical intensive care unit to a telemetry unit once they were hemodynamically stable. The projected hospitalization costs, if the patients had remained in the hospital, were calculated to determine probable savings for the third party payer. The average period from admission to placement of the Novacor LVAS was 15 days (range, 7–21 days). The average hospitalization cost from admission to time of Novacor left ventricular assist device implant was $2,240/day, and the average hospitalization cost after implant to discharge was $1,570/day. Hospitalization cost savings were $2,632 for the first patient, $5,922 for the second patient, and $132,124 for the third patient, who has not been transplanted. Although the number of patients is small, the daily hospitalization cost was higher before the Novacor LVAS was implanted. This is related to the severity of the disease and the length of stay in a surgical intensive care unit. There also is a significant cost savings for the third party payer, especially if the patient has to wait a significant amount of time before heart transplantation. These are important considerations in this time of managed care.
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