Background.: Heightened awareness of medical costs has escalated criticism toward expensive medical therapy. Methods.: The use of ventricular assistance devices (VADs) at Pennsylvania State University as a bridge to transplantation was reviewed. Records of 43 patients listed as status I from July 1991 to July 1994 were compared. Results.: This analysis demonstrated that for all patients treated with the intent to transplant, those who were bridged with a VAD exhibited a trend toward an improved transplantation rate (92% versus 68%) and a significantly greater rate of discharge from the hospital (92% versus 55.4%; p = 0.023) than the medically managed patients. Although overall charges and costs were higher in VAD-supported patients, this was related to significantly longer pretransplantation hospitalization. When normalized to daily costs and charges, this discrepancy in expenses was eliminated. Conclusions.: The superior rate of discharge at equitable daily costs and charges for the VAD patients draws continued enthusiasm toward use of these devices as a bridge to transplantation. Furthermore, development of outpatient care for VAD-supported patients and continued advances in the use of these devices may further reduce the cost of managing these critically ill patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine