Anne Arundel Health System Research Institute

Annapolis, MD, United States

Anne Arundel Health System Research Institute

Annapolis, MD, United States
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Waite K.,Anne Arundel Health System Research Institute | Rhule J.,Anne Arundel Health System Research Institute | Meisenberg B.R.,Anne Arundel Health System Research Institute
Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management | Year: 2017

Objective: To measure clinical outcomes associated with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and acquisition costs of heparin after implementing a new order set promoting unfractionated heparin (UFH) use instead of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis. Methods: This was single-center, retrospective, pre-post intervention analysis utilizing pharmacy, laboratory, and clinical data sources. Subjects were patients receiving VTE thromboprophyalxis with heparin at an acute care hospital. Usage rates for UFH and LMWH, acquisition costs for heparins, number of HIT assays, best practice advisories for HIT, and confirmed cases of HIT and HIT with thrombosis were assessed. Results: After order set intervention, UFH use increased from 43% of all prophylaxis orders to 86%. Net annual savings in acquisition costs for VTE prophylaxis was $131,000. After the intervention, HIT best practice advisories and number of monthly HIT assays fell 35% and 15%, respectively. In the 9-month pre-intervention period, HIT and HITT occurred in zero of 6717 patients receiving VTE prophylaxis. In the 25 months of post-intervention follow-up, HIT occurred in 3 of 44,240 patients (P = 0.86) receiving VTE prophylaxis, 2 of whom had HITT, all after receiving UFH. The median duration of UFH and LMWH use was 3.0 and 3.5 days, respectively. Conclusion: UFH use in hospitals can be safely maintained or increased among patient subpopula-tions that are not at high risk for HIT. A more nuanced approach to prophylaxis, taking into account individual patient risk and expected duration of therapy, may provide desired cost savings without provoking HIT. Copyright 2017 by Turner White Communications Inc. All rights reserved.


Meisenberg B.R.,DeCesaris Cancer Institute | Meisenberg B.R.,Anne Arundel Health System Research Institute | Varner A.,DeCesaris Cancer Institute | Ellis E.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 4 more authors.
Oncologist | Year: 2015

Background and Purpose. The cost of illness in cancer care and the subsequent distress has attracted scrutiny. Guidelines recommend enhanced discussion of costs, assuming this will reduce both stress and costs. Little is known about patient attitudes about cost considerations influencing treatment decisions. Methods. A convenience-sample survey of patients currently receiving radiation and/or intravenous chemotherapy at an outpatient cancer center was performed. Assessments included prevalence and extent of financial burden, level of financial distress, attitudes about using costs to influence treatment decisions, and frequency or desirability of cost discussions with oncologists. Results. A total of 132 participants (94%) responded. Overall, 47% reported high financial stress, 30.8% felt well informed about costs prior to treatment, and 71% rarely spoke to their oncologists about cost. More than 71% of patients did not want either society’s or personal costs to influence treatment, and this result did not change based on degree of financial stress. Even when asked to assume that lower cost regimens were equally effective, only 28% would definitely want the lower cost regimen. Patients did not believe it was the oncologist’s duty to perform cost discussions. Conclusion. Even insured patients have a high degree of financial distress. Most, including those with the highest levels of distress, did not speak often with oncologists about costs and were strongly adverse to having cost considerations influence choice of regimen. The findings suggest that patients are not cost sensitive with regard to treatment decisions. Oncologists will require improved tools to have meaningful cost discussion, as recommended by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Implications for Practice: This study raises important questions regarding optimal communication with patients about costs. If patients are not cost sensitive regarding treatment decisions, they will not be full partners in the desire to reduce financial burden and financial distress by lowering costs. Better patient educational tools are needed to help increase not just cost awareness but also awareness of value. To master this mode of discourse and to help ease patients’ financial toxicity, oncologists will need to master a new set of data and develop new skills. This new knowledge and proficiency are as vital to good oncology care as all other clinical acumen. © AlphaMed Press 2015.

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