Rational prescribing in primary care (RaPP): economic evaluation of an intervention to improve professional practice.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Interventions designed to narrow the gap between research findings and clinical practice may be effective, but also costly. Economic evaluations are necessary to judge whether such interventions are worth the effort. We have evaluated the economic effects of a tailored intervention to support the implementation of guidelines for the use of antihypertensive and cholesterol-lowering drugs. The tailored intervention was evaluated in a randomized trial, and was shown to significantly increase the use of thiazides for patients started on antihypertensive medication, but had little or no impact on other outcomes. The increased use of thiazides was not expected to have an impact on health outcomes. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We performed cost-minimization and cost-effectiveness analyses on data from a randomized trial involving 146 general practices from two geographical areas in Norway. Each practice was randomized to either the tailored intervention (70 practices; 257 physicians) or control group (69 practices; 244 physicians). Only patients that were being started on antihypertensive medication were included in the analyses. A multifaceted intervention was tailored to address identified barriers to change. Key components were an educational outreach visit with audit and feedback, and computerized reminders. Pharmacists conducted the visits. A cost-minimization framework was adopted, where the costs of intervention were set against the reduced treatment costs (principally due to increased use of thiazides rather than more expensive medication). The cost-effectiveness of the intervention was estimated as the cost per additional patient being started on thiazides. The net annual cost (cost minimization) in our study population was 53,395 US dollars, corresponding to 763 US dollars per practice. The cost per additional patient started on thiazides (cost-effectiveness) was 454 US dollars. The net annual savings in a national program was modeled to be 761,998 US dollars, or 540 US dollars per practice after 2 y. In this scenario the savings exceeded the costs in all but two of the sensitivity analyses we conducted, and the cost-effectiveness was estimated to be 183 US dollars. CONCLUSIONS: We found a significant shift in prescribing of antihypertensive drugs towards the use of thiazides in our trial. A major reason to promote the use of thiazides is their lower price compared to other drugs. The cost of the intervention was more than twice the savings within the time frame of our study. However, we predict modest savings over a 2-y period.
Project description:BACKGROUND: All clinical practice guidelines recommend thiazides as a first-choice drug for the management of uncomplicated hypertension. Thiazides are also the lowest priced antihypertensive drugs. Despite this, the use of thiazides is much lower than that of other drug-classes. We wanted to estimate the potential for savings if thiazides were used as the first choice drug for the management of uncomplicated hypertension. METHODS: For six countries (Canada, France, Germany, Norway, the UK and the US) we estimated the number of people that are being treated for hypertension, and the proportion of them that are suitable candidates for thiazide-therapy. By comparing this estimate with thiazide prescribing, we calculated the number of people that could switch from more expensive medication to thiazides. This enabled us to estimate the potential drug-cost savings. The analysis was based on findings from epidemiological studies and drug trials, and data on sales and prescribing provided by IMS for the year 2000. RESULTS: For Canada, France, Germany, Norway, the UK and the US the estimated potential annual savings were US13.8 million dollars, US37.4 million dollars, US72.2 million dollars, US10.7 million dollars, US119.7 million dollars and US433.6 million dollars, respectively.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of a new reimbursement rule for antihypertensive medication that made thiazides mandatory first-line drugs for newly treated, uncomplicated hypertension. The objective of the new regulation was to reduce drug expenditures. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted an interrupted time-series analysis on prescribing data before and after the new reimbursement rule for antihypertensive medication was put into effect. All patients started on antihypertensive medication in 61 general practices in Norway were included in the analysis. The new rule was put forward by the Ministry of Health and was approved by parliament. Adherence to the rule was monitored only minimally, and there were no penalties for non-adherence. Our primary outcome was the proportion of thiazide prescriptions among all prescriptions made for persons started on antihypertensive medication. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of patients who, within 4 mo, reached recommended blood-pressure goals and the proportion of patients who, within 4 mo, were not started on a second antihypertensive drug. We also compared drug costs before and after the intervention. During the baseline period, 10% of patients started on antihypertensive medication were given a thiazide prescription. This proportion rose steadily during the transition period, after which it remained stable at 25%. For other outcomes, no statistically significant differences were demonstrated. Achievement of treatment goals was slightly higher (56.6% versus 58.4%) after the new rule was introduced, and the prescribing of a second drug was slightly lower (24.0% versus 21.8%). Drug costs were reduced by an estimated Norwegian kroner 4.8 million (0.58 million Euros, US$0.72 million) in the first year, which is equivalent to Norwegian kroner 1.06 per inhabitant (0.13 Euros, US$0.16). CONCLUSIONS: Prescribing of thiazides in Norway for uncomplicated hypertension more than doubled after a reimbursement rule requiring the use of thiazides as the first-choice therapy was put into effect. However, the resulting savings on drug expenditures were modest. There were no significant changes in the achievement of treatment goals or in the prescribing of a second antihypertensive drug.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Consistent with observational studies, a randomized controlled intervention trial of adult male circumcision (MC) conducted in the general population in Orange Farm (OF) (Gauteng Province, South Africa) demonstrated a protective effect against HIV acquisition of 60%. The objective of this study is to present the first cost-effectiveness analysis of the use of MC as an intervention to reduce the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>Cost-effectiveness was modeled for 1,000 MCs done within a general adult male population. Intervention costs included performing MC and treatment of adverse events. HIV prevalence was estimated from published estimates and incidence among susceptible subjects calculated assuming a steady-state epidemic. Effectiveness was defined as the number of HIV infections averted (HIA), which was estimated by dynamically projecting over 20 years the reduction in HIV incidence observed in the OF trial, including secondary transmission to women. Net savings were calculated with adjustment for the averted lifetime duration cost of HIV treatment. Sensitivity analyses examined the effects of input uncertainty and program coverage. All results were discounted to the present at 3% per year. For Gauteng Province, assuming full coverage of the MC intervention, with a 2005 adult male prevalence of 25.6%, 1,000 circumcisions would avert an estimated 308 (80% CI 189-428) infections over 20 years. The cost is 181 dollars (80% CI 117-306 dollars) per HIA, and net savings are 2.4 million dollars (80% CI 1.3 million to 3.6 million dollars). Cost-effectiveness is sensitive to the costs of MC and of averted HIV treatment, the protective effect of MC, and HIV prevalence. With an HIV prevalence of 8.4%, the cost per HIA is 551 dollars (80% CI 344-1,071 dollars) and net savings are 753,000 (80% CI 0.3 million to 1.2 million dollars). Cost-effectiveness improves by less than 10% when MC intervention coverage is 50% of full coverage.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In settings in sub-Saharan Africa with high or moderate HIV prevalence among the general population, adult MC is likely to be a cost-effective HIV prevention strategy, even when it has a low coverage. MC generates large net savings after adjustment for averted HIV medical costs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>A gap exists between evidence and practice regarding the management of cardiovascular risk factors. This gap could be narrowed if systematically developed clinical practice guidelines were effectively implemented in clinical practice. We evaluated the effects of a tailored intervention to support the implementation of systematically developed guidelines for the use of antihypertensive and cholesterol-lowering drugs for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>We conducted a cluster-randomized trial comparing a tailored intervention to passive dissemination of guidelines in 146 general practices in two geographical areas in Norway. Each practice was randomized to either the tailored intervention (70 practices; 257 physicians) or control group (69 practices; 244 physicians). Patients started on medication for hypertension or hypercholesterolemia during the study period and all patients already on treatment that consulted their physician during the trial were included. A multifaceted intervention was tailored to address identified barriers to change. Key components were an educational outreach visit with audit and feedback, and computerized reminders linked to the medical record system. Pharmacists conducted the visits. Outcomes were measured for all eligible patients seen in the participating practices during 1 y before and after the intervention. The main outcomes were the proportions of (1) first-time prescriptions for hypertension where thiazides were prescribed, (2) patients assessed for cardiovascular risk before prescribing antihypertensive or cholesterol-lowering drugs, and (3) patients treated for hypertension or hypercholesterolemia for 3 mo or more who had achieved recommended treatment goals. The intervention led to an increase in adherence to guideline recommendations on choice of antihypertensive drug. Thiazides were prescribed to 17% of patients in the intervention group versus 11% in the control group (relative risk 1.94; 95% confidence interval 1.49-2.49, adjusted for baseline differences and clustering effect). Little or no differences were found for risk assessment prior to prescribing and for achievement of treatment goals.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our tailored intervention had a significant impact on prescribing of antihypertensive drugs, but was ineffective in improving the quality of other aspects of managing hypertension and hypercholesterolemia in primary care.
Project description:This study examined the cost-effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is tailored for adults with a co-occurring severe mental illness.Data were from a randomized trial involving 183 adult clients of two outpatient clinics and three partial hospitalization programs. All had a severe mental illness diagnosis (major mood disorder, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder) and severe PTSD. Participants were randomly assigned to the tailored 12- to 16-session CBT intervention for PTSD (CBT-P) or a three-session breathing retraining and psychoeducation intervention (BRF). Cost estimates included intervention costs for training, supervision, fidelity assessment, personnel, and overhead and related mental health care costs for outpatient, inpatient, and emergency department services and for medications. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio comparing CBT-P with BRF measured the added cost or savings per remission from PTSD at 12 months postintervention. Generalized linear models were used to estimate intervention effects on annual mental health care costs and the likelihood of a remission from PTSD. Ten thousand bootstrap replications were used to assess uncertainty.Annual mean mental health care costs were $25,539 per client (in 2010 dollars) for BRF participants and $29,530 per client for CBT-P participants, a nonsignificant difference. The mean incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $36,893 per additional PTSD remission yielded by CBT-P compared with BRF (95% confidence interval=-$33,523 to $158,914). Remissions were associated with improvements in quality of life and functioning.An effective CBT intervention tailored for adults with severe mental illness and PTSD was not found to be more cost-effective than a brief three-session intervention.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is a significant predictor of several chronic diseases, becoming more prevalent as people age. Since the aging population increases demands on healthcare budgets, effectively stimulating physical activity (PA) against acceptable costs is of major relevance. This study provides insight into long-term health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of a tailored PA intervention among adults aged over fifty. METHODS: Intervention participants (N?=?1729) received tailored advice three times within four months, targeting the psychosocial determinants of PA. The intervention was delivered in different conditions (i.e. print-delivered versus Web-based, and with or without additional information on local PA opportunities). In a clustered RCT, the effects of the different intervention conditions were compared to each other and to a control group. Effects on weekly Metabolic Equivalents (MET)-hours of PA obtained one year after the intervention started were extrapolated to long-term outcomes (5-year, 10-year and lifetime horizons) in terms of health effects and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and its effect on healthcare costs, using a computer simulation model. Combining the model outcomes with intervention cost estimates, this study provides insight into the long-term cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were calculated. RESULTS: For all extrapolated time horizons, the printed and the Web-based intervention resulted in decreased incidence numbers for diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, acute myocardial infarctions, and stroke and increased QALYs as a result of increased PA. Considering a societal Willingness-to-Pay of €20,000/QALY, on a lifetime horizon the printed (ICER?=?€7,500/QALY) as well as the Web-based interventions (ICER?=?€10,100/QALY) were cost-effective. On a 5-year time horizon, the Web-based intervention was preferred over the printed intervention. On a 10-year and lifetime horizon, the printed intervention was the preferred intervention condition, since the monetary savings of the Web-based intervention did no longer outweigh its lower effects. Adding environmental information resulted in a lower cost-effectiveness. CONCLUSION: A tailored PA intervention in a printed delivery mode, without environmental information, has the most potential for being cost-effective in adults aged over 50. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The current study was registered at the Dutch Trial Register (NTR2297; April 26th 2010).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Behavioral interventions can meaningfully improve cardiometabolic conditions. Digital therapeutics (DTxs) delivering these interventions may provide benefits comparable to pharmacologic therapies, displacing medications for some patients. OBJECTIVE:Our objective was to estimate the economic impact of a digital behavioral intervention in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and hypertension (HTN) and estimate the impact of clinical inertia on deprescribing medications. METHODS:Decision analytic models estimated health resource savings and cost effectiveness from a US commercial payer perspective. A 3-year time horizon was most relevant to the intervention and payer. Effectiveness of the DTx in improving clinical outcomes was based on cohort studies and published literature. Health resource utilization (HRU), health state utilities, and costs were drawn from the literature with costs adjusted to 2018 dollars. Future costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were discounted at 3%. Sensitivity analyses assessed uncertainty. RESULTS:Average HRU savings ranged from $97 to $145 per patient per month, with higher potential benefits in T2DM. Cost-effectiveness acceptability analyses using a willingness-to-pay of $50,000/QALY indicated that the intervention would be cost effective at total 3-year program costs of $6468 and $6620 for T2DM and HTN, respectively. Sensitivity analyses showed that reduced medication costs are a primary driver of potential HRU savings, and the results were robust within values tested. A resistance to deprescribe medications when a patient's clinical outcomes improve can substantially reduce the estimated economic benefits. Our models rely on estimates of clinical effectiveness drawn from limited cohort studies with DTxs and cannot account for other disease management programs that may be implemented. Performance of DTxs in real-world settings is required to further validate their economic benefits. CONCLUSIONS:The DTxs studied may provide substantial cost savings, in part by reducing the use of conventional medications. Clinical inertia may limit the full cost savings of DTxs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces the risk of HIV acquisition, demand for services is lower among men in most at-risk age groups (ages 20-34 years). A randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of locally-tailored demand creation activities (including mass media, community mobilization, and targeted service delivery) in increasing uptake of campaign-delivered VMMC among men aged 20-34 years. We conducted an economic evaluation to understand the intervention's cost and cost-effectiveness. SETTING:Tanzania (Njombe and Tabora regions). METHODS:Cost data were collected on surgery, demand creation activities, and monitoring and supervision related to VMMC implementation across clusters in both trial arms, as well as start-up activities for the intervention arms. The Decision Makers' Program Planning Tool was used to estimate the number of HIV infections averted and related cost savings, given the total VMMCs per cluster. Disability-adjusted life years were calculated and used to estimate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. RESULTS:Client load was higher in the intervention arms than in the control arms: 4394 vs. 2901 in Tabora and 1797 vs. 1025 in Njombe, respectively. Despite additional costs of tailored demand creation, demand increased more than proportionally: mean costs per VMMC in the intervention arms were $62 in Tabora and $130 in Njombe, and in the control arms $70 and $191, respectively. More infections were averted in the intervention arm than in the control arm in Tabora (123 vs. 67, respectively) and in Njombe (164 vs. 102, respectively). The intervention dominated the control because it was both less costly and more effective. Cost savings were observed in both regions stemming from the antiretroviral treatment costs averted as a result of the VMMCs performed. CONCLUSIONS:Spending more to address local preferences as a way to increase uptake of VMMC can be cost-saving.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) remain a significant patient safety issue, with point prevalence estimates being ~5% in high-income countries. In 2016-2017, the Researching Effective Approaches to Cleaning in Hospitals (REACH) study implemented an environmental cleaning bundle targeting communication, staff training, improved cleaning technique, product use, and audit of frequent touch-point cleaning. This study evaluates the cost-effectiveness of the environmental cleaning bundle for reducing the incidence of HAIs.<h4>Methods</h4>A stepped-wedge, cluster-randomized trial was conducted in 11 hospitals recruited from 6 Australian states and territories. Bundle effectiveness was measured by the numbers of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, Clostridium difficile infection, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci infections prevented in the intervention phase based on estimated reductions in the relative risk of infection. Changes to costs were defined as the cost of implementing the bundle minus cost savings from fewer infections. Health benefits gained from fewer infections were measured in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Cost-effectiveness was evaluated using the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio and net monetary benefit of adopting the cleaning bundle over existing hospital cleaning practices.<h4>Results</h4>Implementing the cleaning bundle cost $349 000 Australian dollars (AUD) and generated AUD$147 500 in cost savings. Infections prevented under the cleaning bundle returned a net monetary benefit of AUD$1.02 million and an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $4684 per QALY gained. There was an 86% chance that the bundle was cost-effective compared with existing hospital cleaning practices.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A bundled, evidence-based approach to improving hospital cleaning is a cost-effective intervention for reducing the incidence of HAIs.
Project description:CONTEXT:A recent Community Guide systematic review of effectiveness of school-based health centers (SBHCs) showed that SBHCs improved educational and health outcomes. This review evaluates the economic cost and benefit of SBHCs. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:Using economic systematic review methods developed for The Community Guide, 6,958 papers were identified for the search period January 1985 to September 2014. After two rounds of screening, 21 studies were included in this review: 15 studies reported on cost and nine on benefit; three studies had both cost and benefit information. All expenditures in this review were presented in 2013 U.S. dollars. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS:Analyses were conducted in 2014. Intervention cost had two main components: start-up cost and operating cost. All but two of the cost studies reported operating cost only (ranging from $16,322 to $659,684 per SBHC annually). Benefits included healthcare cost averted and productivity and other loss averted. From the societal perspective, total annual benefit per SBHC ranged from $15,028 to $912,878. From healthcare payers' perspective, particularly Medicaid, SBHCs led to net savings ranging from $30 to $969 per visit. From patients' perspective, savings were also positive. Additionally, two benefit studies used regression analysis to show that Medicaid cost and hospitalization cost decreased with SBHCs. Finally, results from seven estimates in two cost-benefit studies showed that societal benefit per SBHC exceeded intervention cost, with the benefit-cost ratio ranging from 1.38:1 to 3.05:1. CONCLUSIONS:The economic benefit of SBHCs exceeds the intervention operating cost. Further, SBHCs result in net savings to Medicaid.