Impact of radiofrequency ablation for patients with varicose veins on the budget of the German statutory health insurance system

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: In contrast to other countries, surgery still represents the common invasive treatment for varicose veins in Germany. However, radiofrequency ablation, e.g. ClosureFast, becomes more and more popular in other countries due to potential better results and reduced side effects. This treatment option may cause less follow-up costs and is a more convenient procedure for patients, which could justify an introduction in the statutory benefits catalogue. Therefore, we aim at calculating the budget impact of a general reimbursement of ClosureFast in Germany. METHODS: To assess the budget impact of including ClosureFast in the German statutory benefits catalogue, we developed a multi-cohort Markov model and compared the costs of a "World with ClosureFast" with a "World without ClosureFast" over a time horizon of five years. To address the uncertainty of input parameters, we conducted three different types of sensitivity analysis (one-way, scenario, probabilistic). RESULTS: In the Base Case scenario, the introduction of the ClosureFast system for the treatment of varicose veins saves costs of about 19.1 Mio. euro over a time horizon of five years in Germany. However, the results scatter in the sensitivity analyses due to limited evidence of some key input parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Results of the budget impact analysis indicate that a general reimbursement of ClosureFast has the potential to be cost-saving in the German Statutory Health Insurance.

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Kuhlmann, A., Prenzler, A., Hacker, J., & von der Schulenburg, J. M. G. (2013). Impact of radiofrequency ablation for patients with varicose veins on the budget of the German statutory health insurance system. Health Economics Review, 3(1), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1186/2191-1991-3-9

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