Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is associated with greater utilization of healthcare resources and financial expenditure.
To evaluate temporal trends in healthcare resource utilization and costs following AMI throughout 2003-2015.
AMI patients who survived the first year following hospitalization in a tertiary medical center (Soroka University Medical Center) throughout 2002-2012 were included and followed until 2015. Length of the in-hospital stay (LOS), emergency department (ED), primary care, outpatient consulting clinic visits and other ambulatory services, and their costs, were evaluated and compared annually over time.
Overall 8047 patients qualified for the current study; mean age 65.0 (SD = 13.6) years, 30.3% women. During follow-up, LOS and the number of primary care visits has decreased significantly. However, ED and consultant visits as well as ambulatory-services utilization has increased. Total costs have decreased throughout this period. Multivariate analysis, adjusted for potential confounders, showed as significant trend of decrease in LOS and ambulatory-services utilization, yet an increase in ED visits with no change in total costs.
Despite a decline in utilization of most healthcare services throughout the investigated decade, healthcare expenditure has not changed. Further evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of long-term resource allocation following AMI is warranted. Nevertheless, we believe more intense ambulatory follow-up focusing on secondary prevention and early detection, as well as high-quality outpatient chest pain unit are warranted.