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Balloon atrial septostomy is performed in infants with dextro-transposition of the great arteries to improve oxygenation before surgery. It is performed in the catheterisation laboratory with fluoroscopy or at the bedside using echocardiography. It is unclear whether procedural safety and efficacy is superior in one location versus the other, although the bedside procedure may improve resource utilisation and present an opportunity for reducing cost. This study compares safety and efficacy of atrial septostomy performed at the patient’s bedside versus the catheterisation laboratory.
Neonates with dextro-transposition of the great arteries who underwent balloon atrial septostomy from October, 2000 to January, 2014 were included. Medical and procedural records, echocardiograms, and catheterisation data were reviewed. Comparisons between the two procedural locations included patient demographics, pre- and post-procedure oxygen saturations, and outcomes. Complications reviewed included bleeding, arrhythmia, cardiac trauma, stroke, and death. Coronary artery evaluations were recorded. T-tests were used for continuous variables, and Fisher’s exact tests were used for all categorical variables. Wilcoxon rank sum and analysis of covariance modelling were used for time variables and oxygen saturation, respectively.
A total of 88 infants met the inclusion criteria. Among them, 53 underwent septostomy at the bedside and 35 underwent septostomy in the catheterisation laboratory. No safety or outcome benefit was identified between the two procedural locations.
Septostomy performed at the bedside and in the catheterisation laboratory had similar outcomes and efficacy. Further, bedside septostomy has the advantage of no radiation exposure, and obviating risks with patient transfer from the ICU to the catheterisation laboratory.
Families of children born with CHD face added stress owing to uncertainty about the magnitude of the financial burden for medical costs they will face. This study seeks to assess the family responsibility for healthcare bills during the first 12 months of life for commercially insured children undergoing surgery for severe CHD.
The MarketScan® database from Truven was used to identify commercially insured infants in 39 states from 2010 to 2012 with an ICD-9 diagnosis code for transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, or truncus arteriosus, as well as the corresponding procedure code for complete repair. Data extraction identified payment responsibilities of the patients’ families in the form of co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance during the 1st year of life.
There were 481 infants identified who met the criteria. Average family responsibility for healthcare bills during the 1st year of life was $2928, with no difference between the three groups. The range of out-of-pocket costs was $50–$18,167. Initial hospitalisation and outpatient care accounted for the majority of these responsibilities.
Families of commercially insured children with severe CHD requiring corrective surgery face an average of ~$3000 in out-of-pocket costs for healthcare bills during the first 12 months of their child’s life, although the amount varied considerably. This information provides a framework to alleviate some of the uncertainty surrounding healthcare financial responsibilities, and further examination of the origination of these expenditures may be useful in informing future healthcare policy discussion.
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