Emergency room and inpatient use after cardiac pacemaker implantation.
Although studies have demonstrated health benefits, there is limited evidence on utilization and cost changes associated with cardiac pacemaker implantation from national community samples. The aim of this study was to quantify changes in emergency room (ER) and hospital inpatient use and in Medicare payments per beneficiary/year after pacemaker implantation. Outcomes for pacemaker recipients after and before implantation and between pacemaker recipients and controls were compared using propensity score matching. Data came from Health and Retirement Study interviews merged with Medicare claims. Sample subjects were aged ≥68 years with diagnosed conduction disorders or cardiac dysrhythmias in the previous 3 years. Outcome measures were (1) ER visits, inpatient admissions and days, and Medicare payments for ER and inpatient care in the after period for the pacemaker versus control groups, defined per beneficiary/year, (2) difference in differences in the same 5 outcome variables, and (3) binary variables for whether or not utilization or payments were lower in the after versus before periods for the pacemaker versus control groups. In conclusion, most pacemaker recipients improved, as measured by reductions in use and payments in the after versus before period, and there were reductions in ER visits and hospital admissions for conditions commonly leading to pacemaker implantation.
Sloan, FA; George, LK; Hu, L
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