Health care resources and costs for treating peripheral artery disease in a managed care population: results from analysis of administrative claims data

Jay Margolis, John J Barron, W Daniel Grochulski
Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy: JMCP 2005, 11 (9): 727-34

OBJECTIVE: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality and serves as an important marker for advanced systemic atherosclerosis accompanied by symptomatic or asymptomatic ischemia of the coronary, cerebral, and visceral vasculature. There are little published data on the use of health care resources and costs attributable to PAD. The objectives of this study were to evaluate, from a societal perspective, PAD-related health care resource utilization and to determine the total annualized costs and cost components for patients with PAD, with particular attention to the key outcomes of myocardial infarction (MI), transient ischemic attacks (TIA), stroke, and amputations.

METHODS: This study examined medical, hospital and outpatient, and pharmacy claims from a large managed care database with dates of service from January 1, 1999, through August 31, 2003. Patients with PAD were identified from claims using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis codes (primary or secondary codes), ICD-9-CM procedure codes, current procedural terminology (CPT) codes, or by a pharmacy claim for cilostazol or pentoxifylline. The index date for each patient was the first occurrence of either a medical claim for PAD or a pharmacy claim for 1 of the 2 drugs. Patients were required to be a minimum of 18 years old with continuous plan eligibility. The prevalence of PAD in adults in a managed care setting was also determined, as were annual rates for the key outcomes of MI, TIA, stroke, and amputations. Health care resource utilization and costs were calculated for PAD patients after the index date for a period of at least 12 months per patient for medications, outpatient/physician office visits, laboratory/diagnostic procedures, emergency department visits, and hospitalization. Cost was defined as the allowed charge on each administrative claim, including the amount paid by the insurer plus the amount paid by the health plan members (copay, deductible, and coinsurance).

RESULTS: Prior to application of exclusion criteria for patients aged 18 years or older and the minimum period of continuous eligibility, the overall prevalence of PAD was 1.18% of the total managed care organization population.s 6.67 million members. The PAD study cohort consisted of 30,561 patients with a mean age of 70.7 years at index. The most common comorbidities identified in the preindex period for these PAD patients included hypertension (67% of patients); metabolic disorders/hypercholesterolemia (57%); heart disease including cardiomyopathy, dysrhythmias, and heart failure (55%); and ischemic heart disease (47%). Over a mean postindex period of 25.2 months (median 23.4 months), the total mean annualized PAD-related cost was $5,955 per patient per year (PPPY). Hospitalizations accounted for the largest component cost category, averaging $4,442 PPPY or 75% of the total annualized PAD-related cost per PAD patient. PAD-related noncoronary procedures averaged $729 PPPY (12.2% of total annual PAD-related costs), and PAD-related medications (including antihypertensives and lipid-lowering therapy) totaled $610 (10.2% of total annual costs), including $313 PPPY for antihypertensives and $207 for lipid-lowering therapy. For the subgroup of 24,075 newly identified PAD patients, 8,479 (35.2%) were hospitalized during an average 25.2 months of follow-up, with the mean time to first hospitalization of 8.9 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 75% of the total PAD-related patient cost in an average of 25 months of follow-up is contributed by hospital costs, and 35% of patients newly diagnosed with PAD experienced a hospitalization in a mean of 8.9 months after the index diagnosis. Based upon mean annual health and member costs of only $313 PPPY for antihypertensives and $207 for lipid-lowering therapy, drug therapy in PAD patients may be underutilized.

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