E-ISSN 1305-3612
Interventional Radiology - Original Article
Cost-benefit analysis of establishing an inferior vena cava filter clinic
1 Division of Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA  
2 Center for Biostatistics, Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA  
Diagn Interv Radiol 2017; 23: 37-42
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2016.16007

PURPOSE: Adverse events associated with retrievable inferior vena cava filters (IVCFs) have generated an increased interest in improving IVCF retrieval rates to improve patient safety and quality care. This study aims to demonstrate the cost-benefit of implementing an IVCF clinic to improve patient care in an institution in the United States.


METHODS: An IVCF clinic was established at a single institution in September 2012 and for ten months referring physicians were contacted to facilitate retrieval when appropriate. Additionally, a retrospective review was conducted on filter placements over the eight preclinic months. Cost-benefit analysis was conducted by creating a model, which incorporated the average cost and reimbursement for permanent and retrievable IVCFs.


RESULTS: A total of 190 IVCFs (152 retrievable IVCFs and 38 permanent IVCFs) were implanted during the IVCF clinic period. Twenty-nine percent of the retrievable IVCFs were successfully retrieved compared to 10 of 119 retrievable IVCFs placed during the preclinic period (8.4%). Cost-benefit analysis, using the average of the institution’s six most common reimbursement schedules, demonstrated an average net financial loss per permanent or retrievable IVCF not removed. However, a net financial gain was realized for each retrievable IVCF removed. The additional hospital cost to maintain the IVCF clinic was offset by removing an additional 3.1 IVCFs per year.


CONCLUSION: An IVCF clinic significantly increases retrieval rates, promotes patient safety, and is economically feasible. Given the adverse event profile of retrievable IVCFs, strategic efforts such as these ultimately can improve quality care for patients with in-dwelling IVCFs.

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