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Impact of remote monitoring on clinical events and associated health care utilization: A nationwide assessment

Published:August 18, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2016.08.024

      Background

      Remote monitoring (RM) of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) improves patient survival. However, whether RM reduces health care utilization is unknown.

      Objective

      The purpose of this study was to determine whether RM was associated with reduced hospitalization and costs in clinical practice.

      Methods

      We conducted a nationwide cohort study using the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan database. Patients implanted with a CIED between March 31, 2009, and April 1, 2012, were included. All-cause hospitalization events were compared between those using RM and those not using RM by using Cox proportional hazards methods with Andersen-Gill extension and propensity scoring. We also compared health care costs (payments >30 days after CIED implantation).

      Results

      Overall, there were 92,566 patients (mean age 72 ± 13 years; 58,140 [63%] men) with a mean follow-up of 19 ± 12 months, including 54,520 (59%) pacemaker, 27,816 (30%) implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, and 10,230 (11%) cardiac resynchronization therapy patients. Only 37% of patients (34,259) used RM. Patients with RM had Charlson Comorbidity Index values similar to those not using RM but had lower adjusted risk of all-cause hospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio 0.82; 95% confidence interval 0.80–0.84; P < .001) and shorter mean length of hospitalization (5.3 days vs 8.1 days; P < .001) during follow-up. RM was associated with a 30% reduction in hospitalization costs ($8720 mean cost per patient-year vs $12,423 mean cost per patient-year). For every 100,000 patient-years of follow-up, RM was associated with 9810 fewer hospitalizations, 119,000 fewer days in hospital, and $370,270,000 lower hospital payments.

      Conclusion

      RM is associated with reductions in hospitalization and health care utilization. Since only about a third of patients with CIEDs routinely use RM, this represents a major opportunity for quality improvement.

      Keywords

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