OBJECTIVES: Cost savings associated with high-dose (HD) as compared to standard-dose (SD) influenza vaccination in the United States (US) Veteran's Health Administration (VHA) population have been attributed to better protection against hospitalization for cardiac and respiratory diseases. The relative contribution of each of these disease categories to the reported savings remains to be explored.
METHODS: During a recently completed study of HD versus SD vaccine effectiveness (conducted in the VHA over five respiratory seasons from 2010/11 through 2014/15), we collected cost data for all healthcare services provided at both VHA and Medicare-funded facilities. In that analysis, we compared the costs of vaccination and hospital care for patients admitted with either cardiovascular or respiratory disease. Treatment selection bias and other confounding factors were adjusted using an instrumental variable (IV) method. In this brief report we use the same study cohort and methods to stratify the results by patients admitted for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and those admitted for respiratory disease.
RESULTS: We analyzed 3.5 million SD and 0.16 million HD person-seasons. The IV-adjusted rVEs were 14% (7-20%) against hospitalizations for CVD and 15% (5-25%) against respiratory hospitalizations. Net cost savings per HD recipient were $138 ($66-$200) for CVD related hospitalizations and $62 ($10-$107) for respiratory disease related hospitalizations.
CONCLUSIONS: In the US VHA population, the reduction in hospitalizations for CVD over five respiratory seasons contributed twice the cost savings (per HD recipient) of the reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory disease.