Cost of Treating Venous Thromboembolism with Heparin and Warfarin Versus Home Treatment with Rivaroxaban

Zachary P. Kahler, Daren M. Beam, Jeffrey A. Kline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Background Target-specific anticoagulants such as rivaroxaban facilitate immediate discharge of low-risk venous thromboembolism (VTE; including deep vein thrombosis [DVT] and pulmonary embolism [PE]) allowing treatment at home instead of hospitalization. Objectives The objective was to compare costs accrued over 6 months by patients diagnosed with low-risk VTE and treated at home with rivaroxaban versus usual care with heparin-warfarin. Methods This case-control study calculated costs using the established charge-to-cost ratio from UB-04 billing claims of patients diagnosed at two metropolitan hospitals. Patients were defined as low risk by the Hestia criteria. All patients were anticoagulated for 6 months. Control patients were treated with usual care using low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and then warfarin. Case patients were treated with an initial dose of rivaroxaban in the ED followed by same-day discharge home with rivaroxaban. Medians were compared by Mann-Whitney U-test. Results Fifty cases and 47 controls were identified. Groups were well matched according to mean age, Charlson comorbidity score, and proportions by sex and location of thrombus. For all VTEs, median hospital charges for 6 months after diagnosis were $11,128 (interquartile range [IQR] = $8,110 to $23,390) for controls, compared with $4,787 (IQR = $3,042 to $7,596) for cases (Mann-Whitney U-test p < 0.001). Subgroup analyses of the first week of therapy, PE, DVT, and inpatient pharmacy costs retained significance, with costs for rivaroxaban-treated PE patients 57% lower than control PE patients (p < 0.001) and 56% lower for DVT patients (p = 0.003). Conclusions Cost of medical care was lower for low-risk VTE patients discharged immediately from the ED with rivaroxaban therapy compared with patients treated with LMWH-warfarin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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