The clinical management of intracranial aneurysms is debated in many countries because of the associated disability risk and costs. Therefore, estimating the costs and explaining their variability will provide important information for decision makers.Objective
We aimed to evaluate the acute and post-acute health costs of intracranial aneurysm management and to explain the variability in these costs in the Italian National Health System.Methods
An observational study was conducted on 145 patients who were affected by a (single) ruptured or an unruptured intracranial aneurysm. They were consecutively admitted to 14 Italian hospitals between October 2005 and March 2007. The data collected during the initial hospitalization and three follow-up visits were used to assess the 1-year health costs and the patients' health status after discharge. Two multivariate regression models were used to explain the variability in the acute and post-acute costs.Results
The average total cost per patient was €30,813 (evaluation year: 2012). The first model explained the acute costs fairly well and showed that the severity of illness, the admission unit (i.e., intensive care unit vs. another unit of the hospital), and mortality were associated with large, significant (p < 0.05) coefficients. The second model outperformed the first one in explaining the post-acute costs and showed that health status assessed 30 days after discharge was a significant (p < 0.05) predictor of costs.Conclusion
Policies aimed at containing health costs should focus on interventions that help to reduce disability, which is a key predictor of long-term costs.