Cost-effectiveness of a multidisciplinary intervention model for community-dwelling frail older people

René J F Melis, Eddy Adang, Steven Teerenstra, Monique I J van Eijken, Anders Wimo, Theo van Achterberg, Eloy H van de Lisdonk, Marcel G M Olde Rikkert
Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2008, 63 (3): 275-82

BACKGROUND: There is growing interest in geriatric care for community-dwelling older people. There are, however, relatively few reports on the economics of this type of care. This article reports about the cost-effectiveness of the Dutch Geriatric Intervention Program (DGIP) compared to usual care in frail older people at 6-month follow-up from a health care system's point of view.

METHODS: We conducted this economic evaluation in an observer-blind randomized controlled trial (Dutch EASYcare Study: Identifier NCT00105378). Difference in treatment effect was calculated as the difference in proportions of successfully treated patients (prevented functional decline accompanied by improved well-being). Incremental treatment costs were calculated as the difference in mean total care costs. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was expressed as total cost per successful treatment. Bootstrap methods were used to determine confidence intervals (CI) for these measures.

RESULTS: The average cost of the intervention under study (DGIP) was 998 euros (95% CI, 888-1108). The increment in total cost resulting from DGIP was a little over 761 euros (-3336 to 4687). Hospitalization and institutionalization costs were less; home care, adult day care, and meals-on-wheels costs were higher. There was a significant difference in proportions of successful treatments of 22.3% (4.3-41.4). The number needed to treat was approximately 4.7 (2.3-18.0). The ICER is 3418 euros per successful treatment (-21,458 to 45,362). The new treatment is cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay of 34,000 euros.

CONCLUSION: The results of this economic evaluation suggest that DGIP is an effective addition to primary care for frail older people at a reasonable cost.


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