Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes | 2019
Episode Payments for Transcatheter and Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement.
BACKGROUND\nAortic stenosis is the most common valvular heart disease in the United States. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is increasingly being adopted as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). In an era of value-based payment reform, our objective was to better understand the economic impact of the use of TAVR and SAVR in the United States.\n\n\nMETHODS AND RESULTS\nWe performed a retrospective cohort study of Medicare beneficiaries who underwent TAVR or SAVR between 2012 and 2015. Using claims from a 20% sample of national fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, we calculated episode payments for patients who underwent aortic valve replacement from 90 days before aortic valve replacement through 90 days after hospital discharge. Among 18\u2009804 eligible patients, 6455 underwent TAVR (34.3%), and 12\u2009349 underwent SAVR (65.7%). After adjustment for patient characteristics, episode payments for TAVR were ≈7% lower than for SAVR (TAVR, $55\u2009545 [95% CI, $54\u2009643-56\u2009446] versus $59\u2009467 [95% CI, $58\u2009723-60\u2009211]; P<0.001). Patients with TAVR had higher preprocedural payments, but lower payments during and after the index hospitalization for the procedure. Episode payments increased with increasing comorbidity score for patients undergoing TAVR or SAVR (rate ratio, 1.16 [95% CI, 1.15-1.17]; P<0.001); however, this association was stronger for SAVR (rate ratio, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.17-1.19]) than for TAVR (rate ratio, 1.11 [95% CI, 1.11-1.12]; P<0.001 for interaction). Thus, differences in episode payments between TAVR and SAVR were greatest for the sickest patients but much less in healthier patients.\n\n\nCONCLUSIONS\nTAVR is associated with lower episode payments than SAVR. However, episode payments for TAVR are less influenced by patient comorbidity. Therefore, as TAVR is increasingly used in patients with better baseline health status, the economic advantages of TAVR relative to SAVR may diminish.