Understanding the economic implications of induction and maintenance immunosuppression (ISx) is important in developing personalized kidney transplant (KTx) care. Using data from a novel integrated data set including financial records from the University Health System Consortium, Medicare, and pharmacy claims (2007-2014), we estimated the differences in the impact of induction and maintenance ISx regimens on transplant hospitalization costs and Medicare payments from KTx to 3 years. Use of thymoglobulin (TMG) significantly increased transplant hospitalization costs ($12 006; P =.02), compared with alemtuzumab and basiliximab. TMG resulted in lower Medicare payments in posttransplant years 1 (−$2058; P =.05) and 2 (−$1784; P =.048). Patients on steroid-sparing ISx incurred relatively lower total Medicare spending (−$10 880; P =.01) compared with patients on triple therapy (tacrolimus, antimetabolite, and steroids). MPA/AZA-sparing, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors-based, and cyclosporine-based maintenance ISx regimens were associated with significantly higher payments. Alternative ISx regimens were associated with different KTx hospitalization costs and longer-term payments. Future studies of clinical efficacy should also consider cost impacts to define the economic effectiveness of alternative ISx regimens.
- health expenditures
- induction immunosuppression
- kidney transplantation
- maintenance immunosuppression