HumanInsight Economic evaluation of an integrated virtual care programme for people with chronic illness who are frequent users of health services in Australia
BMJ Open. 2023 Apr 5;13(4):e066016. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066016.
OBJECTIVE: The MeCare programme is a tailored virtual care initiative targeted at frequent users of health services who have at least one chronic condition including cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. The programme aims to prevent unnecessary hospitalisations by helping patients to self-manage, improve their health literacy and engage in positive health behaviours. This study investigates the impact of the MeCare programme on healthcare resource use, costs and patient-reported outcomes.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A retrospective pre-post study design was adopted. Data on emergency department presentations, hospital admissions, outpatient appointments and their associated costs were obtained from administrative databases. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis using Monte Carlo simulation was used to model changes in resource use and costs prior to, and following, participant enrolment on the MeCare programme. Generalised linear models were used to investigate the observed changes in patient-reported outcomes.
RESULTS: The MeCare programme cost $A624 per participant month to deliver. Median monthly rates of ED presentations, hospital admissions and average length of stay post-MeCare reduced by 76%, 50% and 12%, respectively. This translated to a median net cost saving of $A982 per participant month (IQR: -1936; -152). A significant, positive trend in patient experience based on responses to the Patient Assessment of Care for Chronic Conditions Questionnaire was observed over the duration of programme enrolment.
DISCUSSION: The MeCare programme is likely to result in substantial cost savings to the health system, while maintaining or improving patient-reported outcomes. Further research in multisite randomised studies is needed to confirm the generalisability of these results.
PMID:37019493 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066016
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