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Trends in health care expenditure among US adults with heart failure: The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2002-2011


Population-based national data on the trends in expenditures related to heart failure (HF) are scarce. Assessing the time trends in health care expenditures for HF in the United States can help to better define the burden of this condition.


Using 10-year data (2002-2011) from the national Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (weighted sample of 188,708,194US adults aged ≥18years) and a 2-part model (adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, and time); we estimated adjusted mean and incremental medical expenditures by HF status. The costs were direct total health care expenditures (out-of-pocket payments and payments by private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other sources) from various sources (office-based visits, hospital outpatient, emergency department, inpatient hospital, pharmacy, home health care, and other medical expenditures).


Compared with expenditures for individuals without HF ($5511 [95% CI 5405-5617]), individuals with HF had a 4-fold higher mean expenditures of ($23,854 [95% CI 21,733-25,975]). Individuals with HF had $3446 (95% CI 2592-4299) higher direct incremental expenditures compared with those without HF, after adjusting for demographics and comorbidities. Among those with HF, costs continuously increased by $5836 (28% relative increase), from $21,316 (95% CI 18,359-24,272) in 2002/2003 to $27,152 (95% CI 20,066-34,237) in 2010/2011, and inpatient costs ($11,318 over the whole period) were the single largest component of total medical expenditure. The estimated unadjusted total direct medical expenditures for US adults with HF were $30 billion/y and the adjusted total incremental expenditure was $5.8 billion/y.


Heart failure is costly and over a recent 10-year period, and direct expenditure related to HF increased markedly, mainly driven by inpatient costs.

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