Objective: Postplacement cost of surveillance and secondary procedures over 5 years increases the global cost of endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) by nearly 50%. This study identified and assessed the reimbursement received for long-term postplacement costs after EVAR.
Methods: Between December 1995 and June 2007, 360 patients underwent EVAR at a single institution. The reimbursement collected from charges of postplacement surveillance and secondary procedures related to the aneurysmal disease was evaluated and compared against the actual costs. All amounts were converted to year 2007 dollars. To minimize costs associated with the early learning curve, the initial 50 EVAR patients between December 1995 and 1998 were excluded. Patients with <1 year follow-up were also excluded. Data are expressed as mean +/- standard error.
Results: The mean follow up after EVAR for 152 patients was 38.8 +/- 1.8 months. Medicare, capitated insurance, and commercial insurance provided coverage for 85 (56.0%), 49 (32.2%), and 18 (11.8%) patients, respectively. The cumulative 5-year postplacement reimbursement received per patient was $9792 meeting 81.4% of the cumulative cost of $12,027 for a net loss of $2235 per patient. Although 123 (80.9%) patients without secondary procedures generated a 5-year cumulative gain of $1830 per patient, 29 (19.1%) patients with secondary procedures averaged a 5-year cumulative loss of $9378 per patient. The average reimbursement rate over the 5-year period was 35.8% +/- 0.6%, with the lowest reimbursement rate seen in patients with Medicare at 31.6% +/- 0.7%.
Conclusion: Current reimbursement is not sufficient to meet the costs associated with long-term surveillance and needed secondary procedures after EVAR. Inadequate reimbursement of costs associated with secondary procedures was the primary driver for the net institutional loss. Reimbursement for outpatient radiological procedures generated a modest surplus.