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1.  The management of cardiovascular disease in the Netherlands: analysis of different programmes 
Disease management programmes are increasingly used to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of chronic care delivery. But, disease management programme development and implementation is a complex undertaking that requires effective decision-making. Choices made in the earliest phases of programme development are crucial, as they ultimately impact costs, outcomes and sustainability.
To increase our understanding of the choices that primary healthcare practices face when implementing such programmes and to stimulate successful implementation and sustainability, we compared the early implementation of eight cardiovascular disease management programmes initiated and managed by healthcare practices in various regions of the Netherlands. Using a mixed-methods design, we identified differences in and challenges to programme implementation in terms of context, patient characteristics, disease management level, healthcare utilisation costs, development costs and health-related quality of life.
Shifting to a multidisciplinary, patient-centred care pathway approach to disease management is demanding for organisations, professionals and patients, and is especially vulnerable when sustainable change is the goal. Funding is an important barrier to sustainable implementation of cardiovascular disease management programmes, although development costs of the individual programmes varied considerably in relation to the length of the development period. The large number of professionals involved in combination with duration of programme development was the largest cost drivers. While Information and Communication Technology systems to support the new care pathways did not directly contribute to higher costs, delays in implementation indirectly did.
Developing and implementing cardiovascular disease management programmes is time-consuming and challenging. Multidisciplinary, patient-centred care demands multifaceted changes in routine care. As care pathways become more complex, they also become more expensive. Better preparedness and training can prevent unnecessary delays during the implementation period and are crucial to reducing costs.
PMCID: PMC3807633  PMID: 24167456
cardiovascular disease management; integrated care pathways; chronic care delivery; programme implementation; the Netherlands
2.  Physical activity on prescription (PAP): Costs and consequences of a randomized, controlled trial in primary healthcare 
To analyse costs and consequences of changing physical activity behaviour due to the “Physical Activity on Prescription” (PAP) programme.
A randomized controlled trial with a four-month intervention, with comparison between intervention and control group.
The PAP programme, with exercise twice a week, education, and motivational counselling.
525 sedentary individuals, 20–80 years (intervention group n = 268, control group n = 257), with lifestyle-related health problems. A total of 245 returned for the four-month assessment.
Main outcome measure
Programme costs based on intention-to-treat estimations, direct and indirect costs of inactivity, and physical activity behaviour analysed with IPAQ (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), self-reported physical activity, and measures of functional capacity.
The intention-to-treat programme costs for the four-month programme period was SEK (Swedish Kronor) 6475 (€ [Euro] 684) for the intervention group and SEK 3038 (€ 321) for the control group. Of this, healthcare providers’ costs were 24% in the intervention group, and 31% in the control group. The physical activity behaviour was significantly improved in both groups, but no differences were found between the groups.
The largest share of the PAP programme costs was the participants’ costs. Significant improvements were shown in physical activity behaviour in both groups, but no differences were found between the intervention and control groups. Due to many non-completers, the potential for improvements of the motivating assignment with sedentary individuals in primary healthcare is obvious. Long-term follow-up can determine the sustainability of the results, and can be used in a future cost-effectiveness analysis.
PMCID: PMC3413913  PMID: 19929183
Costs; primary healthcare; Physical Activity on Prescription; RCT study
3.  Costing of physical activity programmes in primary prevention: a review of the literature 
This literature review aims to analyse the costing methodology in economic analyses of primary preventive physical activity programmes. It demonstrates the usability of a recently published theoretical framework in practice, and may serve as a guide for future economic evaluation studies and for decision making.
A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify all relevant studies published before December 2009. All studies were analysed regarding their key economic findings and their costing methodology.
In summary, 18 international economic analyses of primary preventive physical activity programmes were identified. Many of these studies conclude that the investigated intervention provides good value for money compared with alternatives (no intervention, usual care or different programme) or is even cost-saving. Although most studies did provide a description of the cost of the intervention programme, methodological details were often not displayed, and savings resulting from the health effects of the intervention were not always included sufficiently.
This review shows the different costing methodologies used in the current health economic literature and compares them with a theoretical framework. The high variability regarding the costs assessment and the lack of transparency concerning the methods limits the comparability of the results, which points out the need for a handy minimal dataset of cost assessment.
PMCID: PMC3402935  PMID: 22827967
Economics; Costs and Cost Analyses; Motor Activity; Primary prevention; Intervention Studies
4.  Programme costs in the economic evaluation of health interventions 
Estimating the costs of health interventions is important to policy-makers for a number of reasons including the fact that the results can be used as a component in the assessment and improvement of their health system performance. Costs can, for example, be used to assess if scarce resources are being used efficiently or whether there is scope to reallocate them in a way that would lead to improvements in population health. As part of its WHO-CHOICE project, WHO has been developing a database on the overall costs of health interventions in different parts of the world as an input to discussions about priority setting.
Programme costs, defined as costs incurred at the administrative levels outside the point of delivery of health care to beneficiaries, may comprise an important component of total costs. Cost-effectiveness analysis has sometimes omitted them if the main focus has been on personal curative interventions or on the costs of making small changes within the existing administrative set-up. However, this is not appropriate for non-personal interventions where programme costs are likely to comprise a substantial proportion of total costs, or for sectoral analysis where questions of how best to reallocate all existing health resources, including administrative resources, are being considered.
This paper presents a first effort to systematically estimate programme costs for many health interventions in different regions of the world. The approach includes the quantification of resource inputs, choice of resource prices, and accounts for different levels of population coverage. By using an ingredients approach, and making tools available on the World Wide Web, analysts can adapt the programme costs reported here to their local settings. We report results for a selected number of health interventions and show that programme costs vary considerably across interventions and across regions, and that they can contribute substantially to the overall costs of interventions.
PMCID: PMC156020  PMID: 12773220
5.  Economic evaluation of arthritis self management in primary care 
Objective To assess the cost effectiveness of a self management programme plus education booklet for arthritis in primary care.
Design Cost effectiveness and cost utility analysis from health and social care and societal perspectives alongside a randomised controlled trial.
Setting 74 general practices in the United Kingdom.
Participants 812 patients aged 50 or more with osteoarthritis of the hips or knees, or both, and pain or disability, or both.
Interventions Randomisation to either six sessions of an arthritis self management programme plus an education booklet (intervention group) or the education booklet alone (standard care control group).
Main outcome measures Total health and social care costs and total societal costs at 12 months; cost effectiveness (incremental cost effectiveness ratios and cost effectiveness acceptability curves) on basis of quality of life (SF-36, primary outcome measure), EuroQol visual analogue scale, and quality adjusted life years (QALYs).
Results At 12 months health and social care costs in the intervention group were £101 higher (95% confidence interval £3 to £176) than those in the control group because the additional costs of the arthritis self management programme did not seem to be fully offset by savings elsewhere. There were no significant differences in societal costs (which were up to 13 times the size of health and social care costs) or any of the outcomes. From the health and social care perspective the intervention was dominated by the control on the basis of QALYs (which were non-significantly lower in the intervention group) and had incremental cost effectiveness ratios between £279 and £13 473 for the other outcomes. From the societal perspective the intervention seemed superior to the control owing to non-significantly lower costs and non-significantly better outcomes on all measures except QALYs. Probabilities of the arthritis self management programme’s cost effectiveness ranged between 12% and 97% (for thresholds ranging £0 to £1000) based on one point improvements in SF-36 outcomes, but the clinical significance of this is debatable. Probabilities of cost effectiveness on the basis of the visual analogue scale and QALYs were low.
Conclusions Cost effectiveness of an arthritis self management programme is not suggested on the basis of current National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence cost perspectives and QALY thresholds. The probability of cost effectiveness is greater when broader costs and other quality of life outcomes are considered. These results suggest that the cost effectiveness of the Department of Health’s expert patients programme cannot be assumed across all clinical conditions and that further rigorous evaluations for other conditions may be needed.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN79115352.
PMCID: PMC2749163  PMID: 19773329
6.  Enhancing the comparability of costing methods: cross-country variability in the prices of non-traded inputs to health programmes 
National and international policy makers have been increasing their focus on developing strategies to enable poor countries achieve the millennium development goals. This requires information on the costs of different types of health interventions and the resources needed to scale them up, either singly or in combinations. Cost data also guides decisions about the most appropriate mix of interventions in different settings, in view of the increasing, but still limited, resources available to improve health.
Many cost and cost-effectiveness studies include only the costs incurred at the point of delivery to beneficiaries, omitting those incurred at other levels of the system such as administration, media, training and overall management. The few studies that have measured them directly suggest that they can sometimes account for a substantial proportion of total costs, so that their omission can result in biased estimates of the resources needed to run a programme or the relative cost-effectiveness of different choices. However, prices of different inputs used in the production of health interventions can vary substantially within a country. Basing cost estimates on a single price observation runs the risk that the results are based on an outlier observation rather than the typical costs of the input.
We first explore the determinants of the observed variation in the prices of selected "non-traded" intermediate inputs to health programmes – printed matter and media advertising, and water and electricity – accounting for variation within and across countries. We then use the estimated relationship to impute average prices for countries where limited data are available with uncertainty intervals.
Prices vary across countries with GDP per capita and a number of determinants of supply and demand. Media and printing were inelastic with respect to GDP per capita, with a positive correlation, while the utilities had a surprisingly negative relationship. All equations had relatively good fits with the data.
While the preferred option is to derive costs from a random sample of prices in each setting, this option is often not available to analysts. In this case, we suggest that the approach described in this paper could represent a better option than basing policy recommendations on results that are built on the basis of a single, or a few, price observations.
PMCID: PMC1563478  PMID: 16630364
7.  Cost and cost-effectiveness of nationwide school-based helminth control in Uganda 
Health policy and planning  2007;23(1):24-35.
Estimates of cost and cost-effectiveness are typically based on a limited number of small-scale studies with no investigation of the existence of economies to scale or intra-country variation in cost and cost-effectiveness. This information gap hinders the efficient allocation of health care resources and the ability to generalize estimates to other settings. The current study investigates the intra-country variation in the cost and cost-effectiveness of nationwide school-based treatment of helminth (worm) infection in Uganda. Programme cost data were collected through semi-structured interviews with districts officials and from accounting records in six of the 23 intervention districts. Both financial and economic costs were assessed. Costs were estimated on the basis of cost in US$ per schoolchild treated and an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (cost in US$ per case of anaemia averted) was used to evaluate programme cost-effectiveness. Sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the effect of discount rate and drug price. The overall economic cost per child treated in the six districts was US$ 0.54 and the cost-effectiveness was US$ 3.19 per case of anaemia averted. Analysis indicated that estimates of both cost and cost-effectiveness differ markedly with the total number of children which received treatment, indicating economies of scale. There was also substantial variation between districts in the cost per individual treated (US$ 0.41-0.91) and cost per anaemia case averted (US$ 1.70-9.51). Independent variables were shown to be statistically associated with both sets of estimates. This study highlights the potential bias in transferring data across settings without understanding the nature of observed variations.
PMCID: PMC2637386  PMID: 18024966
cost analysis; cost-effectiveness; economic evaluation; variation; scaling up; helminth control; Uganda
8.  A minimum income for healthy living 
BACKGROUND—Half a century of research has provided consensual evidence of major personal requisites of adult health in nutrition, physical activity and psychosocial relations. Their minimal money costs, together with those of a home and other basic necessities, indicate disposable income that is now essential for health.
METHODS—In a first application we identified such representative minimal costs for healthy, single, working men aged 18-30, in the UK. Costs were derived from ad hoc survey, relevant figures in the national Family Expenditure Survey, and by pragmatic decision for the few minor items where survey data were not available.
RESULTS—Minimum costs were assessed at £131.86 per week (UK April 1999 prices). Component costs, especially those of housing (which represents around 40% of this total), depend on region and on several assumptions. By varying these a range of totals from £106.47 to £163.86 per week was detailed. These figures compare, 1999, with the new UK national minimum wage, after statutory deductions, of £105.84 at 18-21 years and £121.12 at 22+ years for a 38 hour working week. Corresponding basic social security rates are £40.70-£51.40 per week.
INTERPRETATION—Accumulating science means that absolute standards of living, "poverty", minimal official incomes and the like, can now be assessed by objective measurement of the personal capacity to meet the costs of major requisites of healthy living. A realistic assessment of these costs is presented as an impetus to public discussion. It is a historical role of public health as social medicine to lead in public advocacy of such a national agenda.

Keywords: income; public health; lifestyle; nutrition; housing; exercise; social exclusion; inequalities
PMCID: PMC1731606  PMID: 11076983
9.  Cost effectiveness of an outpatient multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation programme 
Thorax  2001;56(10):779-784.
BACKGROUND—Pulmonary rehabilitation programmes improve the health of patients disabled by lung disease but their cost effectiveness is unproved. We undertook a cost/utility analysis in conjunction with a randomised controlled clinical trial of pulmonary rehabilitation versus standard care.
METHODS—Two hundred patients, mainly with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, were randomly assigned to either an 18 visit, 6 week rehabilitation programme or standard medical management. The difference between the mean cost of 12 months of care for patients in the rehabilitation and control groups (incremental cost) and the difference between the two groups in quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained (incremental utility) were determined. The ratio between incremental cost and utility (incremental cost/utility ratio) was calculated.
RESULTS—Each rehabilitation programme for up to 20 patients cost £12 120. The mean incremental cost of adding rehabilitation to standard care was £ -152 (95% CI -881 to 577) per patient, p=NS. The incremental utility of adding rehabilitation was 0.030 (95% CI 0.002 to 0.058) QALYs per patient, p=0.03. The point estimate of the incremental cost/utility ratio was therefore negative. The bootstrapping technique was used to model the distribution of cost/utility estimates possible from the data. A high likelihood of generating QALYs at negative or relatively low cost was indicated. The probability of the cost per QALY generated being below £0 was 0.64.
CONCLUSIONS—This outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programme produces cost per QALY ratios within bounds considered to be cost effective and is likely to result in financial benefits to the health service.

PMCID: PMC1745931  PMID: 11562517
10.  Defining the cost of the Egyptian lymphatic filariasis elimination programme 
Filaria Journal  2005;4:7.
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is targeted for global elimination. LF elimination programmes in different countries, including Egypt, are supported financially by national and international agencies. The national programme in Egypt is based on mass drug administration (MDA) of an annual dose of a combination of 2 drugs (DEC and albendazole) to all endemic villages. This study aimed primarily to estimate the Total and Government costs of two rounds of MDA conducted in Egypt in 2000 and 2001, the average cost per person treated, and the cost share of the different programme partners.
The Total costs reflect the overall annual costs of the MDA programme, and we defined Government costs as those expenditures made by the Egyptian government to develop, implement and sustain the MDA programmes. We used a generic protocol developed in coordination with the Emory Lymphatic Filariasis Support Center. Our study was concerned with all costs to the government, donors and other implementing parties. Cost data were retrospectively gathered from local, regional and national Ministry of Health and Population records. The total estimates for each governorate were based on data from a representative district for the governorate; these were combined with national programme data for a national estimate.
The overall Total and Government costs for treating approximately 1,795,553 individuals living in all endemic villages in the year 2000 were US $3,181,000 and US $2,412,000, respectively. In 2001, the number of persons treated increased (29%) and the Total costs were US $3,109,000 while Government costs were US $2,331,000. In 2000, the average Total and Government costs per treated subject were US $1.77 and $1.34, respectively, however, these costs decreased to US $1.34 and $1.00, respectively in 2001. The coverage rate was 86.0% in 2000 and it increased to 88.0% in 2001.
The Egyptian government provided 75.8% of all resources, as reflected in the Total cost estimates, and international agencies contributed the rest. Such data highlight both the commitment of the Egyptian government and the significance of the contributions of international bodies toward the LF elimination programme.
PMCID: PMC1187908  PMID: 16076397
11.  Cost-effectiveness of a programme of screening and brief interventions for alcohol in primary care in Italy 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:26.
As alcohol-related health problems continue to rise, the attention of policy-makers is increasingly turning to Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) programmes. The effectiveness of such programmes in primary healthcare is well evidenced, but very few cost-effectiveness analyses have been conducted and none which specifically consider the Italian context.
The Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model has been used to model the cost-effectiveness of government pricing and public health policies in several countries including England. This study adapts the model using Italian data to evaluate a programme of screening and brief interventions in Italy. Results are reported as Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratios (ICERs) of SBI programmes versus a ‘do-nothing’ scenario.
Model results show such programmes to be highly cost-effective, with estimated ICERs of €550/Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) gained for a programme of SBI at next GP registration and €590/QALY for SBI at next GP consultation. A range of sensitivity analyses suggest these results are robust under all but the most pessimistic assumptions.
This study provides strong support for the promotion of a policy of screening and brief interventions throughout Italy, although policy makers should be aware of the resource implications of different implementation options.
PMCID: PMC3936801  PMID: 24502342
Public health interventions; Alcohol; Primary care; Cost-effectiveness
12.  Exploring Short-Term Responses to Changes in the Control Strategy for Chlamydia trachomatis 
Chlamydia has a significant impact on public health provision in the developed world. Using pair approximation equations we investigate the efficacy of control programmes for chlamydia on short time scales that are relevant to policy makers. We use output from the model to estimate critical measures, namely, prevalence, incidence, and positivity in those screened and their partners. We combine these measures with a costing tool to estimate the economic impact of different public health strategies. Increasing screening coverage significantly increases the annual programme costs whereas an increase in tracing efficiency initially increases annual costs but over time reduces costs below baseline, with tracing accounting for around 10% of intervention costs. We found that partner positivity is insensitive to changes in prevalence due to screening, remaining at around 33%. Whether increases occur in screening or tracing levels, the cost per treated infection increases from the baseline because of reduced prevalence.
PMCID: PMC3371724  PMID: 22701143
13.  SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) 12: Finding and using research evidence about resource use and costs 
Health Research Policy and Systems  2009;7(Suppl 1):S12.
This article is part of a series written for people responsible for making decisions about health policies and programmes and for those who support these decision makers.
In this article, we address considerations about resource use and costs. The consequences of a policy or programme option for resource use differ from other impacts (both in terms of benefits and harms) in several ways. However, considerations of the consequences of options for resource use are similar to considerations related to other impacts in that policymakers and their staff need to identify important impacts on resource use, acquire and appraise the best available evidence regarding those impacts, and ensure that appropriate monetary values have been applied. We suggest four questions that can be considered when assessing resource use and the cost consequences of an option. These are: 1. What are the most important impacts on resource use? 2. What evidence is there for important impacts on resource use? 3. How confident is it possible to be in the evidence for impacts on resource use? 4. Have the impacts on resource use been valued appropriately in terms of their true costs?
PMCID: PMC3271823  PMID: 20018102
14.  Costs and quality of life for prehabilitation and early rehabilitation after surgery of the lumbar spine 
During the recent years improved operation techniques and administrative procedures have been developed for early rehabilitation. At the same time preoperative lifestyle intervention (prehabilitation) has revealed a large potential for additional risk reduction.
The aim was to assess the quality of life and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of standard care versus an integrated programme including prehabilitation and early rehabilitation.
The analyses were based on the results from 60 patients undergoing lumbar fusion for degenerative lumbar disease; 28 patients were randomised to the integrated programme and 32 to the standard care programme.
Data on cost and health related quality of life was collected preoperatively, during hospitalisation and postoperatively. The cost was estimated from multiplication of the resource consumption and price per unit.
Overall there was no difference in health related quality of life scores. The patients from the integrated programme obtained their postoperative milestones sooner, returned to work and soaked less primary care after discharge. The integrated programme was 1,625€ (direct costs 494€ + indirect costs 1,131€) less costly per patient compared to the standard care programme.
The integrated programme of prehabilitation and early rehabilitation in spine surgery is more cost-effective compared to standard care programme alone.
PMCID: PMC2586633  PMID: 18842157
15.  Estimating costs of quality improvement for outpatient healthcare organisations 
Quality & safety in health care  2007;16(4):248-251.
Outpatient healthcare organisations worldwide participate in quality improvement (QI) programmes. Despite the importance of understanding the financial impact of such programmes, there are no established standard methods for empirically assessing QI programme costs and their consequences for small outpatient healthcare organisations.
Objective and methods
The costs and cost consequences were evaluated for a diabetes QI programme implemented throughout the USA in federally qualified community health centres. For five case study centres, survey instruments and methods for data analysis were developed.
Two types of cost/revenue were evaluated. Direct costs/revenues, such as personnel time, items purchased and grants received, were evaluated using self-administered surveys. Cost/revenue consequences, which were cost/revenue changes that may have occurred due to changes in patient utilisation or physician behaviour, were evaluated using electronic billing data. Other methods for evaluating cost/revenue consequences if electronic billing data are not available are also discussed.
This paper describes a practical taxonomy and method for assessing the costs and revenues of QI programmes for outpatient organisations. Results of such analyses will be useful for healthcare organisations implementing QI programmes and also for policy makers designing incentives for QI participation.
PMCID: PMC2464944  PMID: 17693669
16.  Estimating costs of quality improvement for outpatient healthcare organisations: a practical methodology 
Quality & Safety in Health Care  2007;16(4):248-251.
Outpatient healthcare organisations worldwide participate in quality improvement (QI) programmes. Despite the importance of understanding the financial impact of such programmes, there are no established standard methods for empirically assessing QI programme costs and their consequences for small outpatient healthcare organisations.
Objective and methods
The costs and cost consequences were evaluated for a diabetes QI programme implemented throughout the USA in federally qualified community health centres. For five case study centres, survey instruments and methods for data analysis were developed.
Two types of cost/revenue were evaluated. Direct costs/revenues, such as personnel time, items purchased and grants received, were evaluated using self‐administered surveys. Cost/revenue consequences, which were cost/revenue changes that may have occurred due to changes in patient utilisation or physician behaviour, were evaluated using electronic billing data. Other methods for evaluating cost/revenue consequences if electronic billing data are not available are also discussed.
This paper describes a practical taxonomy and method for assessing the costs and revenues of QI programmes for outpatient organisations. Results of such analyses will be useful for healthcare organisations implementing QI programmes and also for policy makers designing incentives for QI participation.
PMCID: PMC2464944  PMID: 17693669
17.  The cost-effectiveness of exercise referral schemes 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:954.
Exercise referral schemes (ERS) aim to identify inactive adults in the primary care setting. The primary care professional refers the patient to a third party service, with this service taking responsibility for prescribing and monitoring an exercise programme tailored to the needs of the patient. This paper examines the cost-effectiveness of ERS in promoting physical activity compared with usual care in primary care setting.
A decision analytic model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of ERS from a UK NHS perspective. The costs and outcomes of ERS were modelled over the patient's lifetime. Data were derived from a systematic review of the literature on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of ERS, and on parameter inputs in the modelling framework. Outcomes were expressed as incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses investigated the impact of varying ERS cost and effectiveness assumptions. Sub-group analyses explored the cost-effectiveness of ERS in sedentary people with an underlying condition.
Compared with usual care, the mean incremental lifetime cost per patient for ERS was £169 and the mean incremental QALY was 0.008, generating a base-case incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for ERS at £20,876 per QALY in sedentary individuals without a diagnosed medical condition. There was a 51% probability that ERS was cost-effective at £20,000 per QALY and 88% probability that ERS was cost-effective at £30,000 per QALY. In sub-group analyses, cost per QALY for ERS in sedentary obese individuals was £14,618, and in sedentary hypertensives and sedentary individuals with depression the estimated cost per QALY was £12,834 and £8,414 respectively. Incremental lifetime costs and benefits associated with ERS were small, reflecting the preventative public health context of the intervention, with this resulting in estimates of cost-effectiveness that are sensitive to variations in the relative risk of becoming physically active and cost of ERS.
ERS is associated with modest increase in lifetime costs and benefits. The cost-effectiveness of ERS is highly sensitive to small changes in the effectiveness and cost of ERS and is subject to some significant uncertainty mainly due to limitations in the clinical effectiveness evidence base.
PMCID: PMC3268756  PMID: 22200193
18.  Two view mammography at incident screens: cost effectiveness analysis of policy options 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7217):1097-1102.
To determine the cost effectiveness of two view mammography at incident screens.
Incremental cost effectiveness analyses recognising differences in current reading policy, based on effectiveness data from an observational study.
Breast screening programmes in England and Wales.
Main outcome measures
Health service costs, cancers detected, incremental cost effectiveness ratios per cancer detected, whole time equivalent staff.
For programmes currently using one view with some form of double reading, the incremental cost effectiveness ratio of two view mammography at incident screens ranged between £6589 and £6716, depending on the reading policy. For programmes currently using one view with single reading, two policy options were found to be more efficient than two view single reading: one view with double reading (arbitration; incremental cost effectiveness ratio of £210) and two view double reading (arbitration). If programmes using one view with single reading changed to double reading (arbitration) and then subsequently to two views double reading (arbitration), additional cancers could be detected with an incremental cost effectiveness ratio of £7983. The implementation cost of two view mammography at incident screens in programmes in England and Wales would be £2.9 million and would require 13.4 whole time equivalent radiologists.
The cost effectiveness of two view mammography at incident screens depends on the film reading policy. A policy of two view mammography at incident screens in England and Wales would be efficient only if programmes using single reading moved to double reading. Given limited resources, priority should be given to introducing double reading in the subset of programmes currently using single reading as this requires fewer additional radiologists and is more cost effective.
Key messagesThe NHS breast screening programme is currently considering whether to introduce two view mammography at incident (subsequent) screens in England and WalesAs individual screening programmes operate different reading policies it is important to recognise that both two views and double reading may independently increase the cancer detection rate and thus affect cost effectivenessA policy of two view mammography at incident screens is efficient only if programmes that use single reading also move to double readingImplementation of two view mammography at incident screens in programmes in England and Wales would cost £2.9 million and require 13.4 whole time equivalent radiologistsGiven the current shortage of radiologists, priority should be given to introducing double reading in the subset of programmes currently using single reading as this requires fewer additional radiologists and is more cost effective
PMCID: PMC28259  PMID: 10531098
19.  Economic benefit of the PHLAME wellness programme on firefighter injury 
Work-related injuries and illness are prevalent and costly. Firefighting is especially hazardous and many firefighters sustain work-related injuries. Workplace health promotion programmes have shown positive return on investment (ROI). Little is known about how similar programmes would impact injury and cost among firefighters.
To evaluate the impact of a workplace health promotion intervention on workers’ compensation (WC) claims and medical costs among Oregon fire departments participating in the PHLAME (Promoting Healthy Lifestyles: Alternative Models’ Effects) health promotion programme compared with Oregon fire departments not participating in PHLAME.
Data from firefighters from four large urban fire departments in Oregon were evaluated using a retrospective quasi-experimental study design. Outcomes were (i) total annual firefighter WC claims, (ii) total annual incurred medical costs prior to and after implementation of the PHLAME firefighter worksite health promotion programme (iii) and an ROI analysis.
Data were obtained from 1369 firefighters (mean age of 42 years, 91% white, 93% male). WC claims (P < 0.001) and medical costs (P < 0.01) were significantly lower among PHLAME fire departments compared with Oregon fire departments not participating in the programme. Fire departments participating in the PHLAME TEAM programme demonstrated a positive ROI of 4.61–1.00 (TEAM is used to indicate the 12-session peer-led health promotion programme).
Fire department WC claims and medical costs were reduced after implementation of the PHLAME workplace health promotion programme. This is a low cost, team-based, peer-led, wellness programme that may provide a feasible, cost-effective means to reduce firefighter injury and illness rates.
PMCID: PMC3617369  PMID: 23416849
Firefighter; health promotion; occupational health; occupational injury
20.  A proposed adaptation of the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model to physical activity programmes for the elderly - development of a quality self-assessment tool using a modified Delphi process 
There has been a growing concern in designing physical activity (PA) programmes for elderly people, since evidence suggests that such health promotion interventions may reduce the deleterious effects of the ageing process. Complete programme evaluations are a necessary prerequisite to continuous quality improvements. Being able to refine, adapt and create tools that are suited to the realities and contexts of PA programmes for the elderly in order to support its continuous improvement is, therefore, crucial. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop a self-assessment tool for PA programmes for the elderly.
A 3-round Delphi process was conducted via the Internet with 43 national experts in PA for the elderly, management and delivery of PA programmes for the elderly, sports management, quality management and gerontology, asking experts to identify the propositions that they considered relevant for inclusion in the self-assessment tool. Experts reviewed a list of proposed statements, based on the criteria and sub-criteria from the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model (EFQM) and PA guidelines for older adults and rated each proposition from 1 to 8 (disagree to agree) and modified and/or added propositions. Propositions receiving either bottom or top scores of greater than 70% were considered to have achieved consensus to drop or retain, respectively.
In round 1, of the 196 originally-proposed statements (best practice principles), the experts modified 41, added 1 and achieved consensus on 93. In round 2, a total of 104 propositions were presented, of which experts modified 39 and achieved consensus on 53. In the last round, of 51 proposed statements, the experts achieved consensus on 19. After 3 rounds of rating, experts had not achieved consensus on 32 propositions. The resulting tool consisted of 165 statements that assess nine management areas involved in the development of PA programmes for the elderly.
Based on experts' opinions, a self-assessment tool was found in order to access quality of PA programmes for the elderly. Information obtained with evaluations would be useful to organizations seeking to improve their services, customer satisfaction and, consequently, adherence to PA programmes, targeting the ageing population.
PMCID: PMC3278362  PMID: 21958203
physical activity; programmes; elderly; tool; evaluation; quality; adherence
21.  Using cost-effectiveness analyses to inform policy: the case of antiretroviral therapy in Thailand 
Much emphasis is put on providing evidence to assist policymakers in priority setting and investment decisions. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of interventions is one technique used by policymakers in their decisions around the allocation of scarce resources. However, even where such evidence is available, other considerations may also be taken into account, and even over-ride technical evidence. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the most effective intervention to reduce HIV-related morbidity and prolong mortality. However, treatment provision in the developing world has been hindered by the high costs of services and drugs, casting doubts on its cost-effectiveness. This paper looks at Thailand's publicly-funded antiretroviral initiative which was first introduced in 1992, and explores the extent to which cost-effectiveness evidence influenced policy.
This article reviews the development of the national ART programme in Thailand between 1992 and 2004. It examines the roles of cost-effectiveness information in treatment policy decisions. Qualitative approaches including document analysis and interview of key informants were employed.
Two significant policy shifts have been observed in government-organised ART provision. In 1996, service-based therapy for a few was replaced by a research network to support clinical assessments of antiretroviral medication in public hospitals. This decision was taken after a domestic study illustrated the unaffordable fiscal burden and inefficient use of resources in provision of ART. The numbers of treatment recipients was maintained at 2,000 per year throughout the 1990s. It was not until 2001 that a new government pledged to extend the numbers receiving the service, as part of its commitment to universal coverage. Several elements played a role in this decision: new groups of dominant actors, drug price reductions, a pro-active civil society movement, lessons from experience on treatment benefits, and global treatment advocacy. Unlike previous policy discourse, human rights, ethics and equity notions were explicitly raised to support therapy extension.
In the early decision, moving from a relatively limited ART service to a research network was clearly influenced by cost-effectiveness data. But in the 2001 decision to include ART in the universal coverage package, cost-effectiveness arguments were over-ruled by other considerations. Thai ART policy was shaped by many factors, and was not a simple rational process which relied on evidence.
PMCID: PMC1779364  PMID: 17196110
22.  Supporting practice-based audit: a price to be paid for collecting data. 
BACKGROUND: There has been considerable investment by health authorities in the funding of support staff whose job is to collect data for audit purposes. It is important to understand what costs are involved in such a data collection exercise. The cost advantages of using existing practice staff or externally funded staff are not known. AIM: To assess the cost of transposing data on workload to computer software for audit purposes and retrieving data on five chronic diseases from case records. METHOD: Four audit support staff monitored the time taken to collect specific data as part of a broad audit programme in 12 training practices within one health board area in the West of Scotland in 1997. The time taken was used to estimate comparative costs for using a receptionist or practice nurse for carrying out a similar exercise. RESULTS: Average costs for collecting data per 1000 patients for waiting time, appointments, recall, and telephone audits were 5.24 Pounds for reception staff, 5.64 Pounds for audit support staff, and 9.68 Pounds for a practice nurse. The average cost for collecting data per patient with diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, hypertension, or rheumatoid arthritis was 1.48 Pounds for reception staff, 1.60 Pounds for audit support staff, and 2.74 Pounds for a practice nurse. CONCLUSIONS: The cost of collecting data varies considerably depending on which staff are chosen for the purpose. Practices should consider carefully how best to collect data for audit in terms of cost.
PMCID: PMC1313529  PMID: 10885082
23.  Setting priorities for the health care sector in Zimbabwe using cost-effectiveness analysis and estimates of the burden of disease 
This study aimed at providing information for priority setting in the health care sector of Zimbabwe as well as assessing the efficiency of resource use. A general approach proposed by the World Bank involving the estimation of the burden of disease measured in Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and calculation of cost-effectiveness ratios for a large number of health interventions was followed.
Costs per DALY for a total of 65 health interventions were estimated. Costing data were collected through visits to health centres, hospitals and vertical programmes where a combination of step-down and micro-costing was applied. Effectiveness of health interventions was estimated based on published information on the efficacy adjusted for factors such as coverage and compliance.
Very cost-effective interventions were available for the major health problems. Using estimates of the burden of disease, the present paper developed packages of health interventions using the estimated cost-effectiveness ratios. These packages could avert a quarter of the burden of disease at total costs corresponding to one tenth of the public health budget in the financial year 1997/98. In general, the analyses suggested that there was substantial potential for improving the efficiency of resource use in the public health care sector.
The proposed World Bank approach applied to Zimbabwe was extremely data demanding and required extensive data collection in the field and substantial human resources. The most important limitation of the study was the scarcity of evidence on effectiveness of health interventions so that a range of important health interventions could not be included in the cost-effectiveness analysis. This and other limitations could in principle be overcome if more research resources were available.
The present study showed that it was feasible to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses for a large number of health interventions in a developing country like Zimbabwe using a consistent methodology.
PMCID: PMC2517588  PMID: 18662389
24.  Cost effectiveness analysis of strategies for tuberculosis control in developing countries 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7529):1364.
This article is part of a series examining the cost effectiveness of strategies to achieve the millennium development goals for health
Objective To assess the costs and health effects of tuberculosis control interventions in Africa and South East Asia in the context of the millennium development goals.
Design Cost effectiveness analysis based on an epidemiological model.
Setting Analyses undertaken for two regions classified by WHO according to their epidemiological grouping—Afr-E, countries in sub-Saharan Africa with very high adult and high child mortality, and Sear-D, countries in South East Asia with high adult and high child mortality.
Data sources Published studies, costing databases, expert opinion.
Main outcome measures Costs per disability adjusted life year (DALY) averted in 2000 international dollars ($Int).
Results Treatment of new cases of smear-positive tuberculosis in DOTS programmes cost $Int6-8 per DALY averted in Afr-E and $Int7 per DALY averted in Sear-D at coverage levels of 50-95%. In Afr-E, adding treatment of smear-negative and extra-pulmonary cases at a coverage level of 95% cost $Int95 per DALY averted; the addition of DOTS-Plus treatment for multidrug resistant cases cost $Int123. In Sear-D, these costs were $Int52 and $Int226, respectively. The full combination of interventions could reduce prevalence and mortality by over 50% in Sear-D between 1990 and 2010, and by almost 50% between 2000 and 2010 in Afr-E.
Conclusions DOTS treatment of new smear-positive cases is the first priority in tuberculosis control, including in countries with high HIV prevalence. DOTS treatment of smear-negative and extra-pulmonary cases and DOTS-Plus treatment of multidrug resistant cases are also highly cost effective. To achieve the millennium development goal for tuberculosis control, substantial extra investment is needed to increase case finding and implement interventions on a wider scale.
PMCID: PMC1309642  PMID: 16282379
25.  Economic evaluation of a community based exercise programme to prevent falls 
OBJECTIVE—To assess the incremental costs and cost effectiveness of implementing a home based muscle strengthening and balance retraining programme that reduced falls and injuries in older women.
DESIGN—An economic evaluation carried out within a randomised controlled trial with two years of follow up. Participants were individually prescribed an exercise programme (exercise group, n=116) or received usual care and social visits (control group, n=117).
SETTING—17 general practices in Dunedin, New Zealand.
PARTICIPANTS—Women aged 80 years and older living in the community and invited by their general practitioner to take part.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Number of falls and injuries related to falls, costs of implementing the intervention, healthcare service costs resulting from falls and total healthcare service costs during the trial. Cost effectiveness was measured as the incremental cost of implementing the exercise programme per fall event prevented.
MAIN RESULTS—27% of total hospital costs during the trial were related to falls. However, there were no significant differences in health service costs between the two groups. Implementing the exercise programme for one and two years respectively cost $314 and $265 (1995 New Zealand dollars) per fall prevented, and $457 and $426 per fall resulting in a moderate or serious injury prevented.
CONCLUSIONS—The costs resulting from falls make up a substantial proportion of the hospital costs for older people. Despite a reduction in falls as a result of this home exercise programme there was no significant reduction in healthcare costs. However, the results reported will provide information on the cost effectiveness of the programme for those making decisions on falls prevention strategies.

Keywords: falls; exercise; elderly
PMCID: PMC1731948  PMID: 11449021

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