Hospitalization resource use and costs before and after TIA and stroke: results from a population-based cohort study (OXVASC).
Luengo-Fernandez R., Silver LE., Gutnikov SA., Gray AM., Rothwell PM.
OBJECTIVES: High hospitalization rates, prolonged length of stay, and increased risks of subsequent events mean a steep increase in health care usage after stroke. No study, however, has examined to what extent increased costs after transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke are due to hospitalizations for the initial event, recurrent events, and/or nonvascular hospitalizations, and how costs compare with the year prior to the event. METHODS: We studied patients in a population-based cohort study (Oxford Vascular Study) in the United Kingdom from 2003 to 2007. Hospitalization and cost details were obtained from patients' individualized Hospital Episode Statistics records. RESULTS: A total of 295 incident TIA and 439 incident stroke patients were included. For patients with stroke, average costs increased from £1437 in the year pre-event to £6629 in the year post-event (P<0.0001). Sixty-four percent (£4224) of poststroke costs were due to hospitalizations linked to the index stroke, more than 30% of which were given nonvascular primary diagnoses on Hospital Episode Statistics, and £653 (10%) were due to hospitalizations linked to subsequent vascular events. For patients with TIA, costs increased from £876 1 year before the event to £2410 in the year post-event (P<0.0001). Patients with TIA incurred nonsignificantly higher costs due to hospitalizations linked to subsequent vascular events (£774) than for hospitalizations linked to the index TIA (£720). CONCLUSIONS: Hospital costs increased after TIA or stroke, primarily because of increased initial cerebrovascular hospitalizations. The finding that costs due to nonvascular diagnoses also increased after TIA or stroke appears, in part, to be explained by the miscoding of TIA/stroke-related hospitalizations in electronic information systems.