Healthcare resource utilization and costs associated with venous thromboembolism recurrence in patients with cancer

Journal of Medical Economics, 2020


Patients with cancer are at high risk for developing primary but also recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE). This study examined healthcare utilization (HRU) and costs related to VTE recurrence among cancer patients.


Medical and pharmacy claims from the Humana Database were used to compare HRU (outpatient visits, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and hospitalization days) and healthcare costs among cancer patients with a single VTE event (between 01/2013 and 06/2015) and those with recurrent VTE during the follow-up period (from initiation of anticoagulant therapy until end of eligibility or data availability). All-cause and VTE-related HRU and costs were evaluated using Poisson regression, and healthcare costs were compared using mean differences reported as per-patient-per-year (PPPY).


Of 2,428 newly diagnosed cancer patients who developed VTE, 413 (17.1%) experienced recurrent VTE during the follow-up period (mean = 9 months). Patients with recurrent VTE had higher all-cause and VTE-related HRU and costs compared to those without recurrence. Patients with recurrent VTE also had over 3.19-times more VTE-related hospitalizations (RR [95% CI] = 3.19 [2.93-3.47]), and 3.88-times more VTE-related hospitalization days (RR [95% CI] = 3.88 [3.74-4.02]) than patients without a VTE recurrence. Total VTE-related healthcare costs were $39,641 PPPY among patients with recurrent VTE, $29,142 higher compared to those without recurrence ($10,499 PPPY). This difference was mainly driven by hospitalization costs.


Recurrent VTE among cancer patients is associated with significant HRU and healthcare costs, notably hospitalizations. Strategies to reduce VTE recurrence in patients with cancer can contribute to reducing healthcare cost.

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Khorana AA, McCrae KR, Milentijevic D, Laliberté F, Lejeune D, Crivera C, Lefebvre P