Clinical outcomes and health care costs of transferring rural Western Australians for invasive coronary angiography, and a cost-effective alternative care model: a retrospective cross-sectional study

Mikhail Alexander, Nick S R Lan, Michael J Dallo, Tom G Briffa, Frank M Sanfilippo, Andrew Hooper, Helen Bartholomew, Loletta Hii, Graham S Hillis, Brendan M McQuillan, Girish Dwivedi, James M Rankin, Abdul Rahman Ihdayhid

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD) in people from rural or remote Western Australia referred for invasive coronary angiography (ICA) in Perth and their subsequent management; to estimate the cost savings were computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) offered in rural centres as a first line investigation for people with suspected CAD.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING, PARTICIPANTS: Adults with stable symptoms in rural and remote WA referred to Perth public tertiary hospitals for ICA evaluation during the 2019 calendar year.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Severity and management of CAD (medical management or revascularisation); health care costs by care model (standard care or a proposed alternative model with local CTCA assessment).

RESULTS: The mean age of the 1017 people from rural and remote WA who underwent ICA in Perth was 62 years (standard deviation, 13 years); 680 were men (66.9%), 245 were Indigenous people (24.1%). Indications for referral were non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (438, 43.1%), chest pain with normal troponin level (394, 38.7%), and other (185, 18.2%). After ICA assessment, 619 people were medically managed (60.9%) and 398 underwent revascularisation (39.1%). None of the 365 patients (35.9%) without obstructed coronaries (< 50% stenosis) underwent revascularisation; nine patients with moderate CAD (50-69% stenosis; 7%) and 389 with severe CAD (≥ 70% stenosis or occluded vessel; 75.5%) underwent revascularisation. Were CTCA used locally to determine the need for referral, 527 referrals could have been averted (53%), the ICA:revascularisation ratio would have improved from 2.6 to 1.6, and 1757 metropolitan hospital bed-days (43% reduction) and $7.3 million in health care costs (36% reduction) would have been saved.

CONCLUSION: Many rural and remote Western Australians transferred for ICA in Perth have non-obstructive CAD and are medically managed. Providing CTCA as a first line investigation in rural centres could avert half of these transfers and be a cost-effective strategy for risk stratification of people with suspected CAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalThe Medical journal of Australia
Volume219
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2023

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