Transvenous lead extraction (TLE) poses a significant economic and resource burden on healthcare systems; however, limited data exist on its true cost. We therefore estimate real-world healthcare reimbursement costs of TLE to the UK healthcare system at a single extraction centre.
Consecutive admissions entailing TLE at a high-volume UK centre between April 2013 and March 2018 were prospectively recorded in a computer registry. In the hospital’s National Health Service (NHS) clinical coding/reimbursement database, 447 cases were identified. Mean reimbursement cost (n=445) and length of stay (n=447) were calculated. Ordinary least squares regressions estimated the relationship between cost (bed days) and clinical factors.
Mean reimbursement cost per admission was £17 399.09±£13 966.49. Total reimbursement for all TLE admissions was £7 777 393.51. Mean length of stay was 16.3±15.16 days with a total of 7199 bed days. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and cardiac resynchronisation therapy defibrillator devices incurred higher reimbursement costs (70.5% and 68.7% higher, respectively, both p<0.001). Heart failure and prior valve surgery also incurred significantly higher reimbursement costs. Prior valve surgery and heart failure were associated with 8.3 (p=0.017) and 5.5 (p=0.021) additional days in hospital, respectively.
Financial costs to the NHS from TLE are substantial. Consideration should therefore be given to cost/resource-sparing potential of leadless/extravascular cardiac devices that negate the need for TLE particularly in patients with prior valve surgery and/or heart failure. Additionally, use of antibiotic envelopes and other interventions that reduce infection risk in patients receiving transvenous leads should be considered.