Implications of stroke and bleeding risk scores and comorbidities on episode-based bundled payments for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation

Current Medical Research and Opinion. 01 Feb 2018;34(2):275-284


Due to the high cost of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), this condition may be a suitable candidate for condition-specific bundled payments. This paper evaluates the healthcare cost of NVAF and uses common bleeding and stroke risk scores (HAS-BLED and CHA2DS2-VASc) to explore the risk-based healthcare cost differences among NVAF patients.


MarketScan claims of NVAF patients (ICD-9-CM code 427.31) were analyzed from January 2010 to April 2015. These claims feature more than 196 million covered lives and more than 300 contributing employers and 25 contributing health plans. A retrospective cohort design was used to assess episodes of care costs among patients with NVAF. Previously and newly diagnosed NVAF patients were selected from adult patients with ≥2 diagnoses of NVAF, and without valvular disease. Total all-cause healthcare costs at 1 year were stratified by stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc) and bleeding (HAS-BLED) risk scores. Study data was extracted in the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database (Commercial Database) and the MarketScan Medicare Supplemental and Coordination of Benefits Database (Medicare Supplemental Database).


Mean all-cause 1 year cost of care based on stroke risk (CHA2DS2-VASc) varied from $15,703 to $59,163 for previously diagnosed and $25,992 to $62,458 for newly diagnosed NVAF. Similarly, mean cost varied base on bleeding risk (HAS-BLED) for previously and newly diagnosed NVAF from $17,950 to $57,029 and $26,356 to $67,104 respectively.


NVAF patients accrue variable healthcare costs. Stroke and bleeding risk should be taken into account during the creation of NVAF payment bundles.

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Kaatz S, Coleman CI, Bookhart B, Laliberté F, Nelson WW, Brown K, Martin S, Schein J, Lefebvre P