Out-of-Pocket Payment for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring Among Commercially Insured in the United States

Am J Hypertens. 2020 Nov 3;33(11):999-1002. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpaa120.


Background: Clinical guidelines increasingly recommended ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) for hypertension diagnosis and management. Yet, ABPM is used infrequently in the United States, possibly because of low insurance coverage and high patient costs. We sought to analyze out-of-pocket payments (OPPs) for ABPM among privately insured patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis using IBM® MarketScan® commercial claims of beneficiaries aged ≥18 years receiving ABPM from January 2012 to December 2018. The date of first ABPM claim (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes 93784, 93786, 93788, or 93790) was considered the index date. Patients with 12 months of continuous enrollment preindex and 30-day postindex were included. Per beneficiary OPP was calculated by aggregating all ABPM-related OPPs within the 30-day postindex window (ABPM episode).

Results: Of 22,317 beneficiaries receiving ABPM, 62% had $0 OPP and 38% had OPP >$0. Among the latter, median OPP per beneficiary for an ABPM episode was $23 (interquartile range [IQR], $14, $32), driven primarily by full ABPM claims (median, $22; IQR, $14, $24). Among individual components, scan analysis and report claims (median, $25; IQR, $13, $49) had the greatest OPP. The median OPP per ABPM episode did not change substantively from 2012 through 2018.

Conclusions: Among commercially insured in the United States, nearly 4-in-10 have an OPP for ABPM. Though most OPPs are relatively modest, some patients incur substantial OPP. Our findings highlight the need for policymakers to ensure adequate ABPM coverage in the commercial insurance marketplace.

Keywords: ABPM; blood pressure; hypertension; monitoring; out-of-pocket payment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / economics*
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension* / economics
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Insurance Claim Review
  • Insurance Coverage / trends
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Private Sector / economics
  • Private Sector / statistics & numerical data
  • Procedures and Techniques Utilization / economics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology