Background: There has been a steady increase of patients living in the community with Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs). There is a significant gap in our fund of knowledge with respect to the impact that insurance and socioeconomic status has on outcomes for LVAD patients. We thus hypothesize that low neighborhood socioeconomic status and receipt of Medicaid, respectively, lead to earlier readmissions, earlier death, as well as longer time to transplantation among LVAD patients.
Methods: This was a retrospective review of 101 patients using existing data in the medical information warehouse database at The Ohio State University Medical Center. Primary outcomes measured included time to first event (first readmission or death), death, and time to rehospitalization. Our secondary outcome of interest included time from LVAD implantation to cardiac transplantation.
Results: Recipients of Medicaid did not have an increased risk of adverse events compared with patients without Medicaid coverage. Low Median Household Income (MHI) was associated with an increased risk of readmission (log-rank P = 0.0069) and time to first event (log-rank P = 0.0088). Bridge to transplantation was the only independent predictor of time to death (Hazard Ratio 2.1, [95% confidence interval = 1.03-4.37]). Low MHI and a history of atherosclerosis were both significant predictors for readmission and time to first event. Aldosterone antagonist use decreased the risk of readmission or time to first event by 46%.
Conclusions: LVAD recipients with a low MHI were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after LVAD implantation. Whether these patients are adequately monitored on an outpatient basis remains unclear.
- Cardiac transplantation
- Left ventricular assist device
- Socioeconomic status