Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) are surgically implanted mechanical pumps that aid impaired circulation due to a failing heart. Assist devices can support the left (LVAD), right (RVAD) or both (BIVAD) sides of the heart to increase circulation of oxygen-enriched blood to the rest of the body. Once implanted, the VAD is powered by an external power source which is connected to a drive-line cable, typically attached through a port in the abdomen. The type and model of the VAD is determined by the cardiovascular surgeon and team.
Implantation of a VAD requires as much expertise as a heart transplant, and can possibly cost even more once you take into consideration the device, the procedure, and the pre- and post-maintenance for the patient. These costs can be highly variable depending on the needs of the patient. The right treatment plan and intervention upon diagnosis can make a significant difference in optimizing outcomes and reducing costs.
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Once a member is discharged from the facility, they will require specialized VAD equipment, monitoring services and supplies. Our negotiated rates with programs that implant the devices as well as nationally recognized specialty vendors for VAD services and supplies can add up to significant cost savings. Members living with a VAD often report significant improvement in their quality of life by being able to resume activities that were not possible pre-VAD implant. Clinicians can use a VAD to make an appropriate decision regarding transplantation or not, stabilize patients waiting for a donor heart, and in some cases, improve heart function to eliminate the need for transplant altogether.
Besides saving you money, we are here to provide clinical support as you manage your members with heart failure. And, if your member moves from a VAD to receiving a heart transplant, LifeTrac can make the transition between Tracs seamless.