The aim of the present study was to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) of ventricular assist devices (VAD) implantation surgery in the Japanese medical reimbursement system. The study group consisted of thirty-seven patients who had undergone VAD implantation surgery for dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 25; 67.6 %) or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (n = 4; 10.8 %), and others (n = 8; 21.6 %). Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated using the utility score and years of life. Medical reimbursement bills were chosen as cost indices. The observation period was the 12-month period after surgery. Then, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated according to the VAD type. In addition, the prognosis after 36 months was estimated on the basis of the results obtained using the Markov chain model. The mean preoperative INTERMACS profile score was 2.35 ± 0.77. Our results showed that the utility score, which indicates the effectiveness of VAD implantation surgery, improved by 0.279 ± 0.188 (ΔQALY, p < 0.05). The cost of VAD implantation surgery was 313,282 ± 25,275 (ΔUS$/year) on the basis of medical reimbursement bills associated with therapeutic interventions. The calculated result of CEA was 364,501 ± 190,599 (ΔUS$/QALY). The improvement in the utility score was greater for implantable versus extracorporeal VADs (0.233 ± 0.534 vs. 0.371 ± 0.238) and ICER was 303,104 (ΔUS$/ΔQALY). Furthermore, when we estimated CEA for 36 months, the expected baseline value was 102,712 (US$/QALY). Therefore, VAD implantation surgery was cost effective considering the disease specificities.
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