High Financial Burden for Families of Patients With ASCVD

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Researchers examined the annual inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket expenses for patients with ASCVD.
Researchers examined the annual inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket expenses for patients with ASCVD.

HealthDay News — About one in four low-income families with a member with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) experience a high financial burden, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2018 Scientific Sessions, held from April 6 to 7 in Arlington, Va.

Rohan Khera, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues used data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for 2006 to 2015 to examine the annual inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses for patients with ASCVD.

A total of 22,521 adults with ASCVD were identified, corresponding to an annual estimated 15 percent of all U.S. families, of which 39 percent were low income. The researchers found that in low- and mid/high-income families, OOP expenses represented a median 6.4 and 5.5 percent of income, respectively. The odds of having expenses of >20 and >40 percent of income were significantly increased for low-income versus mid/high-income families (24.1 versus 8.1 percent [odds ratio, 3.6] and 11.2 versus 1.4 percent [odds ratio, 9.2], respectively). During the study period, more low-income families gained insurance coverage, but those with insurance had higher rates of OOP expenses than those without insurance or any mid/high-income insurance subgroups.

"This finding means that the quality of insurance provided to these patients does not sufficiently cover their medical expenses or it doesn't account for their financial resources," Khera said in a statement.

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