The impact of asthma on the cost effectiveness of surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps

George A Scangas, Aaron K Remenschneider, Brooke M Su, Mark G Shrime, Ralph Metson
International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology 2017, 7 (11): 1035-1044

BACKGROUND: The objective of this work was to evaluate the impact of asthma on the cost-effectiveness profile of endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) compared to medical therapy for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP).

METHODS: The study design consisted of a cohort-style Markov decision-tree cost utility analysis with a 35-year time horizon. Matched cohorts of CRSwNP patients with (n = 95) and without (n = 95) asthma who underwent ESS were compared with cohorts of patients from the national Medical Expenditures Survey Panel (MEPS) database who underwent medical management for chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Baseline, 1-year, and 2-year health utility values were calculated from responses to the EuroQol-5 Dimension (EQ-5D) instrument in both cohorts. The primary outcome measure was the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) for each cohort.

RESULTS: The reference cases for CRSwNP patients with and without asthma yielded ICERs for ESS vs medical therapy alone of $12,066 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) and $7,369 per QALY, respectively. At a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000/QALY, the ICER scatter plots demonstrated 86% and 99% certainty that the ESS strategy was the most cost-effective option for CRSwNP patients with and without asthma, respectively. ESS was not significantly more cost effective for CRSwNP patients without asthma (p = 0.494).

CONCLUSION: ESS remains cost effective compared to medical therapy for patients both with and without asthma. While the comorbidity of asthma results in an inferior ICER result, it does not result in a statistically significant negative impact on the overall cost effectiveness of ESS.

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