Hospitalization costs associated with warfarin-related bleeding events among older community-dwelling adults

Michelle M. Kim, Joshua Metlay, Abigail Cohen, Harold Feldman, Sean Hennessy, Stephen Kimmel, Brian Strom, Jalpa A. Doshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: A prior paper from this study demonstrated that patient report of receiving medication instructions from health care professionals is associated with reduced risk of warfarin-related bleeding hospitalizations. The objective of this analysis was to describe the hospitalization costs due to warfarin-related bleeding events in older community-dwelling adults and to estimate the hospitalization costs avoided due to the receipt of medication instruction from different sources. Methods: We estimated the expected hospitalization costs associated with four instruction sources based on the respective incidence rate of observed hospitalizations and mean hospitalization cost for warfarin-related bleeding episodes from a prospective cohort study of beneficiaries of the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE). We estimated hospitalization costs avoided due to each instruction source compared to no instructions using the payer's perspective. We conducted probabilistic sensitivity analysis to account for uncertainty in our parameters. Results: One hundred twenty-six warfarin-related bleeding hospitalizations occurred during the observation periodwith a mean cost of $10 819 (SD: $11 536). Themean expected hospitalization cost froma warfarin-related bleeding hospitalizationwithout instructionwas $835 per year per person. Hospitalization costs avoided with instruction from a health care professional ranged from $443 to $481 per year per person. Conclusions: The costs per hospitalization associated with warfarin-related bleeding events are substantial. Instructions for warfarin management from a health care professional may reduce the number of warfarin-related bleeding hospitalizations and associated costs. Investments in interventions to improve communication regarding warfarin management may be justified economically based on the potential cost savings estimated in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-736
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and drug safety
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Adverse events
  • Costs
  • Elderly
  • Patient safety
  • Warfarin
  • Warfarin management


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