More than 229,000 unnecessary coronary stents were installed in US hospitals from 2019 to 2021—one every seven minutes. This cost the Medicare insurance program more than $2.4 billion.
According to a recently released report from the Lown Institute, more than 229,000 unnecessary coronary stents were installed in 1,773 U.S. hospitals from 2019 to 2021. Rates of overuse of these medical devices varied tenfold across hospitals, from less than 5% to more than 50%, Becker’s Hospital Review reports.
Although coronary stents can save the life of a person who has had a heart attack, numerous studies show that in stable coronary artery disease they provide no benefit over optimal medical therapy. Based on this, andOf the approximately 1 million stents installed in hospitals during the study period, 22% met criteria for overuse. This led to an undefinedgiven expenses at the level of $800 million per year.
Unnecessary stents result in losses for patients. The total cost of outpatient percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) under the Medicare program is $10,600 per procedure, of which $1,600 is paid by the patient. For Americans with private insurance, the cost could be even higher.
This practice is harmful not only from an economic point of view, experts say. Stenting, like any other medical intervention, exposes patients to risks, including the development of hospital-acquired infections.
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