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Background: Although previously conducted meta-analyses suggest that nurse-led disease management programs in heart failure (HF) can improve patient outcomes, uncertainty regarding the cost-effectiveness of such programs remains. Methods: To compare the relative merits of 2 variants of a nurse-led disease management program (basic or intensive support by a nurse specialized in the management of patients with HF) against care as usual (routine follow-up by a cardiologist), a trial-based economic evaluation was conducted alongside the COACH study. Results: In terms of costs per life-year, basic support was found to dominate care as usual, whereas the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio between intensive support and basic support was found to be equal to €532,762 per life-year; in terms of costs per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY), basic support was found to dominate both care as usual and intensive support. An assessment of the uncertainty surrounding these findings showed that, at a threshold value of €20,000 per life-year/€20,000 per QALY, basic support was found to have a probability of 69/62% of being optimal against 17/30% and 14/8% for care as usual and intensive support, respectively. The results of our subgroup analysis suggest that a stratified approach based on offering basic support to patients with mild to moderate HF and intensive support to patients with severe HF would be optimal if the willingness-to-pay threshold exceeds €45,345 per life-year/€59,289 per QALY. Conclusions: Although the differences in costs and effects among the 3 study groups were not statistically significant, from a decision-making perspective, basic support still had a relatively large probability of generating the highest health outcomes at the lowest costs. Our results also substantiated that a stratified approach based on offering basic support to patients with mild to moderate HF and intensive support to patients with severe HF could further improve health outcomes at slightly higher costs. © 2011, Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Postmus, D., Abdul Pari, A. A., Jaarsma, T., Luttik, M. L., Van Veldhuisen, D. J., Hillege, H. L., & Buskens, E. (2011). A trial-based economic evaluation of 2 nurse-led disease management programs in heart failure. American Heart Journal, 162(6), 1096–1104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2011.09.019
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