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Cost of Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma Decreasing

Research presented at the ASH 2017 Annual Meeting & Exposition highlighted how costs for autologous stem cell transplantation have decreased over the past decade.

“Multiple myeloma (MM) treatment facility volume, an indirect measure of treating physician experience with the disease, has been shown to affect mortality,” Yuzhou Liu, MD, of the department of medicine at the Ichan School of Medicine Mount Sinai St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, and colleagues wrote in an abstract of their presentation. “Since MM is commonly treated with autologous stem cell transplantation, we set out to explore if annual facility volume of autologous stem cell transplantation had an impact on survival outcomes.” 

The researchers conducted a review of the a nationally representative sample of discharges from US hospitals for autologous stem cell transplantation ICD-9 codes between 2005 and 2014. They identified 8183 patients in the database, which represented a national cohort of 39,971 admissions for autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma. In order to evaluate cost trends over the study period, they used trend analysis of hospital mortality and hospitalization expenditures. Additionally, they used statistical analysis methods to determine volume to cost and hospital to cost relationships—adjusted for inflation and length of stay.

Study results showed that in-hospital mortality decreased from 3% in 2004 to less than 1% in 2014, with unadjusted mortality ranging from 0.37% to 2.52% depending on hospital volume. 

They determined that the overall cost of autologous stem cell transplantation reduced over the study period, even after accounting for inflation. Costs did not vary between hospital volume levels; however, prices at private hospitals were lower than at public hospitals. 

“Mortality and inflation-adjusted costs for autologous stem cell transplantation for MM have gone down over the past decade,” Dr Liu concluded. “Analysis of the database reveals significant nationwide differences in costs and mortality risk for MM patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation.” —David Costill

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