Cost-outcome analysis of joint replacement: evidence from a Spanish public hospital

José Luis Navarro Espigares, Elisa Hernández Torres
Gaceta Sanitaria 2008, 22 (4): 337-43

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Efficiency-based healthcare decision-making has been widely accepted for some time, with cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) as the main outcome measure. Nevertheless, for numerous medical procedures, little data are available on the cost per QALY gained. The aim of the present study was to calculate the cost per QALY gained with primary hip and knee replacement and to compare the result with the cost per QALY for other medical procedures, as well as with the maximum threshold cost considered acceptable in Spain.

METHODS: We performed a prospective cohort pre-test/post-test study of patients undergoing primary hip or knee arthroplasty. Age, sex, and clinical variables were recorded. Functional status and quality of life were measured by means of the WOMAC and EuroQol instruments, respectively, before the intervention and 6 months later. The direct costs of the intervention were calculated, with length of hospital stay and the prosthesis as the main cost drivers.

RESULTS: A total of 80 patients, 40 from each intervention, were included in this study. Both functional and perceived health status improved after the intervention. The number of QALYs gained in the knee cohort was 4.64, while that in the hip cohort was 0.86. The total cost of knee replacement was lower (6,865.52 euro) than that of hip replacement (7,891.21 euro). The cost per QALY gained was 1,275.84 euro and 7,936.12 euro for knee and hip interventions, respectively. The calculations performed included a 6% discount rate for health outcomes, a 3% inflation rate for costs, and a success rate of 95% at 15 years.

CONCLUSIONS: The costs of both knee and hip replacement were lower than the threshold of 30,000 euro per QALY considered acceptable in Spain, and compared favorably with other medical and surgical procedures.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"