Reduction in medical care cost associated with radiofrequency catheter ablation of accessory pathways

Michael de Buitleir, Joao Sousa, Steven F. Boiling, Rafel El-Atassi, Hugh Calkins, Jonathan J. Langberg, William H. Kou, Fred Morady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The cost of definitive therapy was compared in 25 patients who underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation of accessory pathways in 1990 and 25 patients who underwent surgical ablation of accessory pathways in 1989. In the radiofrequency group, 23 of 25 patients had a single accessory pathway and the remaining 2 patients each had 2 accessory pathways. In the surgical group, 20 patients had a single accessory pathway and 5 patients each had 2 accessory pathways. The success rate was 96% in each group. The mean duration of hospitalization was 3 ± 1 days in the radiofrequency group and 9 ± 4 days in the surgical group (p < 0.0001). All the cost data are expressed in fiscal year 1990/1991 dollar values. The total cost of therapy in the radiofrequency group was $14,919 ± $6,740 compared with $53,265 ± $12,755 in the surgical group (p < 0.0001). The cost of radiofrequency ablation consisted of a hospital charge of $7,753 ± $3,472 and physician fees of $7,166 ± $3,439. The hospital charge included charges for use of the electrophysiology laboratory, hospital stay, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and blood studies. The cost of surgery consisted of a hospital charge of $37,708 ± $10,179 and physician fees of $15,557 ± $3,149. The hospital charge in the surgical group included the costs of a baseline electrophysiology study, in-hospital care and a follow-up office visit. In conclusion, radiofrequency catheter ablation of accessory pathways results in a dramatic reduction in the cost of definitive therapy in patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1656-1661
Number of pages6
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Volume68
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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