When it comes to cardiac pumps, newer products might offer new benefits older products do not.
A study compared cardiac pumps - the HeartMate II (current generation) and HeartMate 3 (a novel, centrifugal-flow pump) and finds that Heartmate 3 can minimize cost of care over time for heart failure patients.
HeartMate 3 reduces re-hospitalizations, number of days spent during re-hospitalizations, and is more cost saving following discharge when compared with the older cardiac pump HeartMate II.
Mehra and colleagues found that the newer device reduced costs due to re-hospitalization by 51 percent, largely driven by a decrease in stroke and pump malfunction requiring reoperation due to pump thrombosis. Patients who received the HeartMate 3 experienced fewer hospitalizations and, on average, spent 8.3 fewer days in the hospital per year than those who received the HeartMate II. The authors note that it may be possible to further reduce costs by decreasing outlier complications and reducing hospital length of stay, and decrease early complications by improving patient selection criteria and considering this therapy before patients get too sick.
In April, Abbott Inc. issued a field safety notice regarding HeartMate 3 outflow graft twist complications with an incidence rate of 0.72 percent. The FDA issued a Class I recall but did not recommend the return of LVADs or avoidance of use in new patients. The current study re-reviewed 20 hospitalizations (five in the HeartMate 3 and 15 in the HeartMate II populations) and in a conservative analysis, classified them as being device-related for the purposes of this analysis. Nonetheless, the data still demonstrated a reduction in re-hospitalization related hospital days and significant cost savings for the HeartMate 3 compared to the HeartMate II.