Advances in medicine have changed how patients experience the end of life. With longer life spans, there has also been an increase in years lived with disability. The clustering of illnesses in the last years of life is particularly pronounced in patients with cardiovascular disease. At the end of life, patients with cardiovascular disease are more symptomatic, less likely to die at home, and less likely to receive high-quality palliative care. Social determinants have created widening disparities in end-of-life care. The increasing complexity and duration of care have resulted in an epidemic of caregiver burden. Modern medical care has also resulted in new ethical challenges, for example, those related to deactivation of cardiac devices, such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and mechanical circulatory support. Recommendations to improve end-of-life care for patients with cardiovascular disease include optimizing metrics to assess quality, ameliorating disparities, enhancing education and research in palliative care, overcoming disparities, and innovating palliative care delivery and reimbursement.
Importance: Statins remain a mainstay in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Objective: To detail the trends in use and total and out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures associated with statins in a representative US adult population from 2002 to 2013. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective longitudinal cohort study was conducted from January 2002 to December 2013. Demographic, medical condition, and prescribed medicine information of adults 40 years and older between 2002 and 2013 were obtained from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey database. Main Outcomes and Measures: Estimated trends in statin use, total expenditure, and OOP share among the general adult population, those with established ASCVD, and those at risk for ASCVD. Costs were adjusted to 2013 US dollars using the Gross Domestic Product Index. Results: From 2002 to 2013, more than 157000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey participants were eligible for the study (mean [SD] age, 57.7 [39.9] years; 52.1% female). Overall, statin use among US adults 40 years of age and older in the general population increased 79.8% from 21.8 million individuals (17.9%) in 2002-2003 (134 million prescriptions) to 39.2 million individuals (27.8%) in 2012-2013 (221 million prescriptions). Among those with established ASCVD, statin use was 49.8% and 58.1% in 2002-2003 and 2012-2013, respectively, and less than one-third were prescribed as a high-intensity dose. Across all subgroups, statin use was significantly lower in women (odds ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.79-0.85), racial/ethnic minorities (odds ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.61-0.70), and the uninsured (odds ratio, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.30-0.37). The proportion of generic statin use increased substantially, from 8.4% in 2002-2003 to 81.8% in 2012-2013. Gross domestic product-adjusted total cost for statins decreased from $17.2 billion (OOP cost, $7.6 billion) in 2002-2003 to $16.9 billion (OOP cost, $3.9 billion) in 2012-2013, and the mean annual OOP costs for patients decreased from $348 to $94. Brand-name statins were used by 18.2% of statin users, accounting for 55% of total costs in 2012-2013. Conclusion and Relevance: Statin use increased substantially in the last decade among US adults, although the uptake was suboptimal in high-risk groups. While total and OOP expenditures associated with statins decreased, further substitution of brand-name to generic statins may yield more savings.
BACKGROUND: Consumer-reported patient-provider communication (PPC) assessed by Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey in ambulatory settings is incorporated as a complementary value metric for patient-centered care of chronic conditions in pay-for-performance programs. In this study, we examine the relationship of PPC with select indicators of patient-centered care in a nationally representative US adult population with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. METHODS AND RESULTS: The study population consisted of a nationally representative sample of 6810 individuals (aged >/=18 years), representing 18.3 million adults with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (self-reported or International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition diagnosis) reporting a usual source of care in the 2010 to 2013 pooled Medical Expenditure Panel Survey cohort. Participants responded to questions from Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey that assessed PPC, and we developed a weighted PPC composite score using their responses, categorized as 1 (poor), 2 (average), and 3 (optimal). Outcomes of interest were (1) patient-reported outcomes: 12-item Short Form physical/mental health status, (2) quality of care measures: statin and ASA use, (3) healthcare resource utilization: emergency room visits and hospital stays, and (4) total annual and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease patients reporting poor versus optimal were over 2-fold more likely to report poor outcomes; 52% and 26% more likely to report that they are not on statin and aspirin, respectively, had a significantly greater utilization of health resources (odds ratio>/=2 emergency room visit, 1.41 [95% confidence interval, 1.09-1.81]; odds ratio>/=2 hospitalization, 1.36 [95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.79]), as well as an estimated $1243 ($127-$2359) higher annual healthcare expenditure. CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals a strong relationship between PPC and patient-reported outcomes, utilization of evidence-based therapies, healthcare resource utilization, and expenditures among those with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.