Forgone Medical Care Associated With Increased Health Care Costs Among the U.S. Heart Failure Population


Thomas A, Valero-Elizondo J, Khera R, Warraich HJ, Reinhardt SW, Ali HJ, Nasir K, Desai NR. Forgone Medical Care Associated With Increased Health Care Costs Among the U.S. Heart Failure Population. JACC Heart Fail. 2021;9 :710-719.

Date Published:



OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of patients with forgone/delayed care for heart failure (HF) and examine the associated demographic characteristics, health care utilization, and costs. BACKGROUND: HF is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, with health care expenditures projected to increase 3-fold from 2012 to 2030. The proportion of HF patients with forgone/delayed medical care and the association with health care expenditures and utilization remain unknown. METHODS: Data on patients with HF were obtained from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to assess expenditures and health care utilization in the United States from 2004 to 2015. Patients with HF who reported forgone/delayed care, any missed or delayed medical treatment, were compared with those without care lapses. RESULTS: Overall, 16% of patients with HF reported forgone/delayed care, including 10% among the elderly (aged >/=65 years) and 27% among the nonelderly (aged <65 years). Patients with HF who reported forgone/delayed care had annual health care expenses $8,027 (95% CI: $1,181-$14,872) higher than those who did not. Among the elderly, those reporting forgone/delayed care had more emergency department visits (43% vs 58%; P < 0.05), and had higher annual inpatient costs (+$7,548; 95% CI: $1,109-$13,988) and total health care costs (+$10,581; 95% CI: $1,754-$19,409). Sixty percent of nonelderly and 46% of elderly patients with HF reported deferring care due to financial barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly 1 in 6 patients with HF in the United States reported forgone/delayed medical care, with one-half attributing it to financial reasons, and this was associated with higher overall health care spending.


Thomas, AlexanderValero-Elizondo, JavierKhera, RohanWarraich, Haider JReinhardt, Samuel WAli, Hyeon-JuNasir, KhurramDesai, Nihar RengJACC Heart Fail. 2021 Oct;9(10):710-719. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2021.05.010. Epub 2021 Aug 11.