UMMS Affiliation

Center for Outcomes Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases | Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Therapeutics


BACKGROUND: The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) can be reduced by appropriate use of anticoagulant prophylaxis. VTE prophylaxis does, however, remain substantially underused, particularly among acutely ill medical inpatients. We sought to evaluate the clinical and economic impact of increasing use of American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)-recommended VTE prophylaxis among medical inpatients from a US healthcare system perspective.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this retrospective database cost-effectiveness evaluation, a decision-tree model was developed to estimate deaths within 30 days of admission and outcomes attributable to VTE that might have been averted by use of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or unfractionated heparin (UFH). Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated using "no prophylaxis" as the comparator. Data from the ENDORSE US medical inpatients and the US nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) were used to estimate the annual number of eligible inpatients who failed to receive ACCP-recommended VTE prophylaxis. The cost-effectiveness analysis indicated that VTE-prevention strategies would reduce deaths by 0.5% and 0.3%, comparing LMWH and UFH strategies with no prophylaxis, translating into savings of $50,637 and $25,714, respectively, per death averted. The ENDORSE findings indicated that 51.1% of US medical inpatients were at ACCP-defined VTE risk, 47.5% of whom received ACCP-recommended prophylaxis. By extrapolating these findings to the NIS and applying cost-effectives analysis results, the full implementation of ACCP guidelines would reduce number of deaths (by 15,875 if using LMWH or 10,201 if using UFH), and was extrapolated to calculate the cost reduction of $803M for LMWH and $262M for UFH.

CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to improve VTE prophylaxis use in acutely ill inpatients are warranted due to the potential for reducing VTE-attributable deaths, with net cost savings to healthcare systems.


Prophylaxis, Inpatients, Monte Carlo method, Diagnostic medicine, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Death rates, Heparin, Adverse events

Rights and Permissions

Copyright: © 2015 Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

DOI of Published Version



Huang W, Anderson FA, Rushton-Smith SK, Cohen AT (2015) Impact of Thromboprophylaxis across the US Acute Care Setting. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121429. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121429. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PLoS One

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.