Abstract 13165: The Evolving Economic Burden of Heart Failure In Alberta
Background: Heart failure (HF) is a debilitating and chronic condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. A comprehensive assessment of the economic burden of HF on the Canadian health care system has not been conducted.
Objectives: 1) To examine trends in costs among patients with HF in Alberta; and 2) Examine annual costs attributable to decedents versus survivors of HF.
Methods: Patients presenting with HF as inpatients, outpatients, or to physician offices between 01/01/2000 – 31/12/2006 were included in the study. Costs (in 2006$) associated with all hospitalizations, outpatient clinic visits (including visits to the emergency department), and physician office visits were used to calculate annual costs among HF patients.
Results: During the study period, the prevalence of HF increased by 37%, whereas the total costs of HF increased by approximately 60% (Figure 1). There was a reduction in the proportion of total costs accounted for by new patients with HF: from 22% in 2000 to 16% in 2006 (mirroring the decline in age-standardized incidence of HF over this time frame from 538 to 403/100000 population). Decedents accounted for approximately 9% of patients each year and for approximately 25% of annual costs. Hospitalization costs accounted for 70% of total costs in 2000 and for 64% of total costs in 2006. In contrast, the proportion of costs attributable to outpatient care increased from 11% to 15% and physician costs from 15% to 18% of total costs. ED costs accounted for approximately 3% of total costs every year.
Conclusion: Annual healthcare costs among HF patients are substantial and increasing, primarily as a result of the increasing prevalence of the disease. Although end of life costs account for a significant portion of total costs among HF patients, this portion has remained stable during the study time period. A trade-off between inpatient and outpatient resources has developed over time.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.