Study Says Low-Battery Defibrillator Replacements Are Costly
Replacing implantable cardiac devices due to battery expirations can be costly, a new Boston Scientific study says.
Using Medicare data from 2004 to 2013, researchers looked at more than 1,000 patients 65 and older who faced cardioverter defibrillator or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator replacement surgery due to imminent battery expiration. Their findings were published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a medical journal.
The study found that 92 percent of patients had one revision procedure over eight years, with an average individual cost of $183,000. Another 8 percent of patients underwent multiple generator replacement procedures, with an average individual cost of $213,000. Complications were shown to add additional expense.
The Marlborough, Mass., devicemaker manufactures implantable cardiac devices. In February, Boston Scientific launched the Extended Longevity line of ICDs it claims last almost 12 years. — Jason Scott