Reimbursement of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in the US commercial insurance marketplace

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2020 Jan;22(1):6-15. doi: 10.1111/jch.13772. Epub 2019 Dec 24.

Abstract

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is increasingly recommended for confirming hypertension diagnosis and ongoing hypertension monitoring. However, reimbursement in the United States is variable and low compared with other advanced health care systems. We examined the reimbursement of ABPM and factors associated with successful reimbursement. A retrospective analysis of IBM MarketScan® commercial claims database was conducted for patients ≥18 years with ≥1 ABPM claim from January 2012 to December 2016. The date of first the ABPM claim was used as the index date. Per-beneficiary ABPM episode reimbursements were calculated by aggregating all ABPM-related reimbursements within a 30-day post-index window, considered as an ABPM episode. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify predictors of successful reimbursement. Of 20 875 beneficiaries with ABPM claims, 16 920 (81.0%) were reimbursed. The median reimbursement per beneficiary for an ABPM episode was $89 (Inter Quartile Range [IQR], $62, $132), driven primarily by reimbursement for the full procedure (median, $86; IQR, $66, $110). Comparing benefit plan types, consumer-directed health plans provided the highest median reimbursement ($96; IQR, $61, $175). Successful reimbursement was associated with female patient sex (adjusted OR [aOR], 1.20; 95% CI, 1.11-1.28), having a health maintenance organization (aOR 2.11; 95% CI, 1.82-2.43) or point of service (aOR 2.08; 95% CI, 1.74-2.49) as benefit plan types, claim filing by a specialist (aOR 1.26; 95% CI, 1.14-1.40) and services provided at an outpatient hospital (aOR 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01-1.35). Among commercially insured Americans, our data suggest significant variability in successful reimbursement. Accordingly, more uniform criteria for ABPM reimbursement may facilitate greater use of guideline-recommended monitoring.

Keywords: ambulatory blood pressure; cost; economics; guidelines; home blood pressure monitor; treatment and diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Insurance, Health
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States