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).
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).
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.
Compared to patients with SAVF, patients with endoAVF required fewer post-creation procedures and had lower associated mean costs within the first year.