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Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia Costly

Platelet disorder leads to increased hospital costs and length of stay

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The economic impact on hospitals -- primarily increased length of stay and acute care cost -- associated with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) may need to be taken into account when making formulary decisions regarding parenteral anticoagulants, according to a report in the September issue of Chest.

Maureen A. Smythe, of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., and colleagues performed a case-control study to determine the financial impact of HIT to an institution. Newly diagnosed HIT cases were matched to controls by diagnosis-related group, primary diagnosis code, primary procedure code and admission date. Total cost, reimbursement, and total profit/loss were measured using hospital administrative data. Length of stay and mortality were also compared between cases and controls.

Overall, 22 cases of HIT and 255 control subjects were identified. On average, the investigators found that HIT cases resulted in a financial loss of $14,387 per patient and a 14.5-day increase in length of stay. Among the 17 Medicare-only cases, HIT cases were associated with larger losses ($20,170 per case) and a longer length of stay (15.8 days), the researchers report. However, the report indicates that mortality was not significantly affected.

"On an institutional level, the financial impact of HIT should be considered when evaluating the place in therapy of non-heparin anticoagulant agents. HIT results in an increased length of stay and a financial loss to the institution," the authors write. "Fifty new cases of HIT per year can cost an institution between $700,000 and $1.8 million."

Smythe discloses that she has served as a speaker for GlaxoSmithKline.

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