The Cost of Stroke in a Public Hospital in Brazil: A One-Year Prospective Study

OBJECTIVE:

Low- and middle-income countries face tight health care budgets, not only new resources, but also costly therapeutic resources for treatment of ischemic stroke (IS). However, few prospective data about stroke costs including cerebral reperfusion from low- and middle-income countries are available. To measure the costs of stroke care in a public hospital in Joinville, Brazil.

METHODS:

We prospectively assessed all medical and nonmedical costs of inpatients admitted with a diagnosis of any stroke or transient ischemic attack over one year, analyzed costs per type of stroke and treatment, length of stay (LOS) and compared hospital costs with government reimbursement.

RESULTS:

We evaluated 274 patients. The total cost for the year was US$1,307,114; the government reimbursed the hospital US$1,095,118. We found a significant linear correlation between LOS and costs (r = 0.71). The median cost of 134 IS inpatients who did not undergo cerebral reperfusion (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] median = 3 ) was US$2,803; for IS patients who underwent intravenous (IV) alteplase (NIHSS 10), the median was US$5,099, and for IS patients who underwent IV plus an intra-arterial (IA) thrombectomy (NIHSS > 10), the median cost was US$10,997. The median costs of a primary intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and transient ischemic attack were US$2,436, US$8,031 and US$2,677, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reperfusion treatments were two-to-four times more expensive than conservative treatment. A cost-effectiveness study of the IS treatment option is necessary.