Background: Mitral Regurgitation (MR) is associated with significant health care costs. This study aims to quantify the financial healthcare burden of Medicare Advantage (MA) patients across all MR patients from the Medical Outcomes Research for Effectiveness and Economics (MORE2) Registry.
Methods: MA patients with a minimum of 1 inpatient or 2 outpatient claims for MR from 2008-2014 were reviewed. The index date was defined as a first inpatient claim or second outpatient claim. A 6-month pre-period (baseline) and 6-month post (washout) after index was used to define baseline etiology and severity. Three MR cohorts were defined: (1) Functional MR (FMR) was defined by the presence of heart failure during washout; (2) Degenerative MR (DMR) was defined by presence of chordal rupture or the absence of both heart failure and ischemia; and (3) Uncharacterized MR (UMR) was defined by patients otherwise not meeting the criteria for FMR or DMR. sMR was defined by a history of MR surgery, a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation or pulmonary hypertension, chordal rupture (DMR only), or record of two or more echocardiograms (per clinical guidelines) during washout. Demographics, comorbidities, healthcare utilization, and all-cause expenditures were summarized.
Results: Of the 164,682 MA patients with MR who met inclusion criteria, 70,452 (43%) had FMR, 51,399 (31%) had DMR, and 42,831 (26%) had UMR. Average age (SD) was similar across cohorts: 74 (7.95), 72 (8.46), and 74 (7.45) years for FMR, DMR, and UMR, respectively. Proportion of severe patients and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) indicates that the FMR cohort was “sicker” as compared to the others: FMR (41,325 [59% of 70,452]; CCI 4.56), DMR (16,169 [32% of 51,399]; CCI 1.67), and UMR (16,131 [38% of 42,831]; CCI 2.80). 2,079 patients (1.26% of total 164,682) received mitral valve surgery at index or washout with the highest occurrence in FMR patients (1,663), followed by UMR (327) and DMR (89). When comparing across the MR cohorts, the FMR cohort had higher rates of hospital admission, but length of stay was similar between cohorts (FMR [19.9%, 4-days], DMR [9.4%, 4-days], and UMR [13.6%, 3-days]). FMR had the highest annual all-cause healthcare costs (SD) ($22,569, [$59,876]), followed by UMR ($14,735 [$32,070]) and DMR ($10,485 [$23,934]).
Conclusions: MR in the Medicare Advantage population is associated with a substantial health care burden, with FMR patients having the highest cost and utilization patterns. This population should, therefore, have access to innovative treatment options that relieve symptoms and reduce economic burden.