A cost-minimization study of telemedicine. The case of telemonitored polysomnography to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
ABSTRACT In a context where sleep laboratories are overwhelmed by a growing demand to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), efficient substitutive solutions to in-laboratory polysomnography should be found. To compare the effectiveness and costs of home unattended polysomnography (Hpsg) and telemonitored polysomnography (TMpsg), a cost minimization study was performed.
In a crossover trial, 99 patients underwent on two consecutive nights TMpsg and Hpsg according to a randomized order. A legibility recording criterion was retained to measure effectiveness. A microcosting study of TMpsg and Hpsg was performed. The risks to adopt home strategy or telemonitored strategy, according to different scenario chosen to reach the diagnosis in case of failure of Hpsg or TMpsg, were analyzed.
The recording was considered to be ineffective in 11.2% of TMpsg (95% CI, 4.9-17.4) and in 23.4% (95% CI, 19.12-27.68) of Hpsg. The effectiveness differential was 12.2% (95% CI, 1.8-22.6) (p = .02). Assuming that in case of failure PSGs would be re-realized in the same condition to reach the diagnosis, then TMpsg could be selected if Hc/TMc (cost of Hpsg/cost of TMpsg) > 0.97; Hpsg could be selected if Hc/TMc < 0.76. If 0.76 < or = Hc/TMc < or = 0.97, the choice of TMpsg would be ambiguous. TMc was estimated to be $244, while Hc was $153 (Hc/TMc = 0.63).
Unless some specific geographical situations generate significant transport costs, the implementation of a strategy based on unattended polysomnography at home is cost-saving compared to a telemonitoring strategy.
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ABSTRACT: Telemedicine has been advocated as an effective means to provide health care services over a distance. Systematic information on costs and consequences has been called for to support decision-making in this field. This paper provides a review of the quality, validity and generalisability of economic evaluations in telemedicine. A systematic literature search in all relevant databases was conducted and forms the basis for addressing these issues. Only articles published in peer-reviewed journals and written in English in the period from 1990 to 2007 were analysed. The literature search identified 33 economic evaluations where both costs (resource use) and outcomes (non-resource consequences) were measured. This review shows that economic evaluations in telemedicine are highly diverse in terms of both the study context and the methods applied. The articles covered several medical specialities ranging from cardiology and dermatology to psychiatry. The studies analysed telemedicine in home care, and in primary and secondary care settings using a variety of different technologies including videoconferencing, still-images and monitoring (store-and-forward telemedicine). Most studies used multiple outcome measures and analysed the effects using disaggregated cost-consequence frameworks. Objectives, study design, and choice of comparators were mostly well reported. The majority of the studies lacked information on perspective and costing method, few used general statistics and sensitivity analysis to assess validity, and even fewer used marginal analysis. As this paper demonstrates, the majority of the economic evaluations reviewed were not in accordance with standard evaluation techniques. Further research is needed to explore the reasons for this and to address how economic evaluation in telemedicine best can take advantage of local constraints and at the same time produce valid and generalisable results.Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 01/2009; 7:18. · 0.87 Impact Factor
Article: Portable-monitor testing: an alternative strategy for managing patients with obstructive sleep apnea.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Portable-monitor testing is being used increasingly in ambulatory management pathways for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Wide varieties of portable monitors are commercially available and they range from single-channel recorders to units that record a full polysomnogram. Recent comparative effectiveness research studies have shown that clinical outcomes of patients with a high pretest probability for obstructive sleep apnea who receive ambulatory management using portable-monitor testing have similar functional outcomes and adherence to continuous positive airway pressure treatment, compared to patients managed with in-laboratory polysomnography. The cost-effectiveness of portable-monitor testing and its potential to improve patient access to diagnosis and treatment requires further investigation.Respiratory care 09/2010; 55(9):1196-215. · 2.01 Impact Factor