Medicare payments for surgery to implant long-term ventricular assist devices (VADs) were highest in U.S. hospitals with the highest healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates, according to an AHRQ-funded study published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. The authors analyzed data for 8,688 Medicare beneficiaries receiving VAD implants in 120 hospitals from July 2008 to July 2017. They found that average Medicare payments for care provided from implant to 90 days post implant were roughly $166,170 in hospitals in the highest third of risk-adjusted HAI rates, compared with $152,518 in hospitals in the lowest third. The authors suggested that interventions to prevent such infections could improve outcomes and reduce VAD-associated costs.
- Interhospital variability in health care-associated infections and payments after durable ventricular assist device implant among Medicare beneficiaries. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. May 2021