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Type: Journal article
Title: Long-term cost-effectiveness of a disease management program for patients with atrial fibrillation compared to standard care–a multi-state survival model based on a randomized controlled trial
Author: Gao, L.
Scuffham, P.
Ball, J.
Stewart, S.
Byrnes, J.
Citation: Journal of Medical Economics, 2021; 24(1):87-95
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1369-6998
Statement of
Lan Gao, Paul Scuffham, Jocasta Ball, Simon Stewart and Joshua Byrnes
Abstract: Aim: To assess the long-term cost-effectiveness of an atrial fibrillation disease management program (i.e. the SAFETY program) from the Australian healthcare system perspective. Methods: A multistate Markov model was developed based on patient-level data from the SAFETY randomized controlled trial. Predicted long-term survival, dependent on hospital admission history, was estimated by extrapolating parametric survival models. Quality-adjusted life years (QALY) and life years (LY) were the primary and secondary outcome measures used to estimate the incremental cost-utility/effectiveness ratio (ICUR/ICER). Both deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSA) were undertaken. Results: The SAFETY program was associated with both higher costs ($94,953 vs. $78,433) and benefits [QALY (3.99 vs 3.60); LY (5.86 vs 5.24)], with an ICUR of $42,513/QALY or ICER of $26,356/LY, compared to standard care. Due to the extended survival, the SAFETY was associated with a greater number of hospitalizations (14.85 vs 11.65) and higher costs for medications ($25,084 vs $22,402) and outpatient care ($12,904 vs $11,524). The cost per hospitalization for an average length of stay, analytical time horizon, and cost of medication are key determinants of ICUR. The PSA showed that the intervention has a 70.4% probability of being cost-effective at a threshold of $50,000/QALY. Conclusions: The SAFETY program has a high probability of being cost-effective for patients with atrial fibrillation. It is associated with uncertainty that further research could potentially eliminate; implementation with further evidence collection is recommended.
Keywords: Atrial fibrillation
Markov model
cost-effectiveness analysis
nurse-coordinated multidisciplinary program
Rights: 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
DOI: 10.1080/13696998.2020.1860371
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