Comparison of Post-Creation Procedures and Costs between Surgical and an Endovascular Approach to Arteriovenous Fistula Creation
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INTRODUCTION: Due to early and late failures that may occur with surgically created hemodialysis arteriovenous fistulas (SAVF), post-creation procedures are commonly required to facilitate AVF maturation and maintain patency. This study compared AVF post-creation procedures and their associated costs in patients with SAVF to patients with a new endovascularly created AVF (endoAVF). METHODS: A 5% random sample from Medicare Standard Analytical Files was abstracted to determine post-creation procedures and associated costs for SAVF created from 2011 to 2013. Medicare enrollment during the 6 months prior to and after the AVF creation was required. Patients' follow-up inpatient, outpatient, and physician claims were used to identify post-creation procedures and to estimate average procedure costs. Comparative procedural information on endoAVF was obtained from the Novel Endovascular Access Trial (NEAT). RESULTS: Of 3764 Medicare SAVF patients, 60 successfully matched to endoAVF patients using 1:1 propensity score matching of baseline demographic and clinical characteristics. The total post-creation procedural event rate within 1 year was lower for endoAVF patients (0.59 per patient-year) compared to the matched SAVF cohort (3.43 per patient-year; p<0.05). In the endoAVF cohort, event rates of angioplasty, thrombectomy, revision, catheter placement, subsequent arteriovenous graft (AVG), new SAVF, and vascular access-related infection were all significantly lower than in the SAVF cohort. The average first year cost per patient-year associated with post-creation procedures was estimated at US$11,240 USD lower for endoAVF than for SAVF. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to patients with SAVF, patients with endoAVF required fewer post-creation procedures and had lower associated mean costs within the first year.
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