Medicare Patients With Diabetes Incur Significantly Higher Costs Due to CVD Death

October 20, 2017

Patients with diabetes who died as a result of comorbid cardiovascular disease incurred significantly higher direct costs before their death, according to a recent poster presentation at AMCP Nexus 2017.

“Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease; however, there is a lack of data on health care resource utilization and costs preceding CVD-related death in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients older than 65 years of age,” Weijia Wang, MSc, health economics and outcomes research value demonstration manager at Boehringer Ingelheim, and colleagues wrote.

They explained that an estimated 68% of patients with diabetes die from heart disease, according to data from the American Diabetes Association.

In order to assess the incremental utilization and direct medical costs of CVD-related death among Medicare beneficiaries with type 2 diabetes, the researchers conducted a retrospective, matched-cohort study of Medicare claims data for 17,530 patients. They compared the claims data of 8765 patients who died as a result of CVD to 8765 patients who did not die.

Study results showed that medical costs were 5.3 times higher, at $57,128 for patients who died compared to $10,785 in patients who did not die. Additionally, inpatient costs were 8.7 times higher and outpatient costs were 2.5 times higher. The researchers noted that increased costs were primarily driven by inpatient costs.

“The direct cost of Medicare beneficiaries with type 2 diabetes who died from a CVD-related cause was significantly higher in the year leading up to their death, and highest during the 3-months immediately preceding and including death, compared to type 2 diabetes patients who did not die,” the researchers concluded.