Direkte Kosten in der Diagnostik und Behandlung von Patienten mit symptomatischem Vorhofflimmern in Deutschland
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- Benkert, D., Theres, H., Wasem, J. et al. Pharmacoeconomics-Ger-Res-Articles (2009) 7: 15. doi:10.1007/BF03320756
Direct costs of diagnostic investigation and treatment of patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) in Germany
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a cardiac arrhythmia characterised by uncoordinated atrial activation. The public health relevance of AF will most likely increase in the future because of the aging population and the associated increased prevalence of age-related risk factors. Little is known about the economic burden associated with the treatment of AF patients in Germany. The aim of this study was to assess the costs of AF in the German health care system.
We considered annual direct medical costs of patients with paroxysmal, persistent and permanent AF from a payer’s perspective using 2008 prices. Resource items (e. g. laboratory tests) and quantity of resource use were identified by literature research and by consulting medical experts. Prices were drawn from standard reimbursement catalogues and appropriate discounts and rebates were taken into consideration.
The annual average costs of paroxysmal AF are € 1,394, of persistent AF are € 2,130 and of permanent AF are € 1,073. From a payer’s perspective, the first cost driver of AF was hospitalisation. The average costs for diagnostic investigations are € 250 for paroxysmal AF and € 311 for persistent AF.
This evaluation shows that hospital admissions, inpatient treatment and interventions represent the major cost driver in the treatment of AF patients. Efforts to reduce the economic burden of AF should focus on avoidance of hospital admissions. Nevertheless, hospitalisation for antiarrhythmic therapy initiation can be cost-effective. The developed cost database enables the adaption of costs data for future projects, especially when calculating the cost-effectiveness of innovative treatment options of AF.