Determining the impact of ex-vivo lung perfusion on hospital costs for lung transplantation: a retrospective cohort study
The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) has improved organ utilization for lung transplantation, but it is not yet known whether the benefits of this technology offset its additional costs. We compared the institutional costs of lung transplantation before vs after EVLP was available to identify predictors of costs and determine the health-economic impact of EVLP. We performed a retrospective, before-after, propensity-score weighted cohort study of patients wait-listed for lung transplant at University
... alth Network (UHN) in Ontario, Canada, between January 2005 and December 2019 using institutional administrative data. We compared costs, in 2019 Canadian Dollars ($), between patients referred for transplant before EVLP was available (Pre-EVLP) to after (Modern EVLP). Cumulative costs were estimated using a novel application of multistate survival models. Predictors of costs were identified using weighted log-gamma generalized linear regression. A total of 1,199 patients met inclusion criteria (352 Pre-EVLP; 847 Modern EVLP). Mean total costs for the transplant hospitalization were $111,878 ($94,123-$130,767) in the Pre-EVLP era and $110,969 ($87,714-$136,000) in the Modern EVLP era. Cumulative five-year costs since referral were $278,777 ($82,575-$298,135) in the Pre-EVLP era and $293,680 ($252,832-$317,599) in the Modern EVLP era. We observed faster progression to transplantation when EVLP was available. EVLP availability was not a predictor of waitlist (cost ratio [CR] 1.04 [0.81-1.37]; p = 0.354) or transplant costs (CR 1.02 [0.80-1.29]; p = 0.425) but was associated with lower costs during posttransplant years 1&2 (CR 0.75 [0.58-1.06]; p = 0.05) and posttransplant years 3+ (CR 0.43 [0.26-0.74]; p = 0.001). At our center, EVLP availability was associated with faster progression to transplantation at no significant marginal cost.