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1.  Demographics, clinical characteristics, health resource utilization and cost of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension patients: retrospective results from six European countries 
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) results from incomplete resolution of a pulmonary embolus, leading to pulmonary hypertension and progressive right heart failure and death. We aimed to describe the demographics, treatment patterns, health resource utilization and related costs of patients with CTEPH.
In specialized PH centres across six European countries, medical charts of CTEPH patients on PH medication were retrospectively extracted (chart review between 2006 and 2009). Resource utilization was valued using country-specific unit costs. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed.
Twenty-one hospitals documented 119 consecutive CTEPH patients over an average of 25.4 months. Patients were inoperable (83.9%) or persistent after surgery (16.0%) with mean age 67.5 ± 12.3 years, 61% were female. The average 6-minute walking distance was 298 ± 120 meters, and NYHA class II/III/IV was 27/59/14%. At baseline, 59.7% patients received endothelin receptor antagonist, 34.4% phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, and 5.8% prostacyclin. Adding a second PH medication was the most common regimen change. CTEPH patients experienced 1.8 ± 2.2 hospitalizations per year accounting for 14.8 ± 26.1 days in hospital. Patients paid on average 2.8 office visits per year to their general practitioner and 1.3 visits to a specialist. Unadjusted annual mortality rate was 6.0%. Annual cost of PH specific medication was the predominant economic factor averaging € 36,768 per year. Costs for hospitalizations (€ 4,496) and concomitant medications (€ 2,510) were substantially lower. Other health care resource items only accounted for marginal additional costs.
CTEPH patients are characterised by substantial morbidity and mortality. Health care utilisation, predominantly due to off-label use of PH drugs, is significant.
PMCID: PMC4069093  PMID: 24912804
Retrospective; Chart review; Pulmonary hypertension; Treatment; Cost
2.  Programme Costing of a Physical Activity Programme in Primary Prevention: Should the Costs of Health Asset Assessment and Participatory Programme Development Count? 
This analysis aims to discuss the implications of the “health asset concept”, introduced by the WHO, and the “investment for health model” requiring a “participatory approach” of cooperative programme development applied on a physical activity programme for socially disadvantaged women and to demonstrate the related costing issues as well as the relevant decision context. The costs of programme implementation amounted to €48,700. Adding the costs for developing the programme design of €48,800 results in total costs of €97,500; adding on top of that the costs of asset assessment running to €35,600 would total €133,100. These four different cost figures match four different types of potentially relevant decisions contexts. Depending on the decision context the total costs, and hence the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of a health promotion intervention, could differ considerably. Therefore, a detailed cost assessment and the identification of the decision context are of crucial importance.
PMCID: PMC3318195  PMID: 22536517
3.  Development and first assessment of a questionnaire for health care utilization and costs for cardiac patients 
The valid and reliable measurement of health service utilization, productivity losses and consequently total disease-related costs is a prerequisite for health services research and for health economic analysis. Although administrative data sources are usually considered to be the most accurate, their use is limited as some components of utilization are not systematically captured and, especially in decentralized health care systems, no single source exists for comprehensive utilization and cost data. The aim of this study was to develop and test a questionnaire for the measurement of disease-related costs for patients after an acute cardiac event (ACE).
To design the questionnaire, the literature was searched for contributions to the assessment of utilization of health care resources by patient-administered questionnaires. Based on these findings, we developed a retrospective questionnaire appropriate for the measurement of disease-related costs over a period of 3 months in ACE patients. Items were generated by reviewing existing guidelines and by interviewing medical specialists and patients. In this study, the questionnaire was tested on 106 patients, aging 35–65 who were admitted for rehabilitation after ACE. It was compared with prospectively measured data; selected items were compared with administrative data from sickness funds.
The questionnaire was accepted well (response rate = 88%), and respondents completed the questionnaire in an average time of 27 minutes. Concordance between retrospective and prospective data showed an intraclass correlation (ICC) ranging between 0.57 (cost of medical intake) and 0.9 (hospital days) with the other main items (physician visits, days off work, medication) clustering around 0.7. Comparison between self-reported and administrative data for days off work and hospitalized days were possible for n = 48. Respective ICCs ranged between 0.92 and 0.94, although differences in mean levels were observed.
The questionnaire was accepted favorably and correlated well with alternative measurement approaches. This first assessment showed promising characteristics of this questionnaire in different aspects of validity for patients with ACE. However, additional research and more extensive tests in other patient groups would be worthwhile.
PMCID: PMC2556330  PMID: 18803845

Results 1-3 (3)