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Cost-effectiveness of a Telemonitoring Program for Patients With Heart Failure During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Hong Kong: Model Development and Data Analysis

  • Jiang, Xinchan1
  • Yao, Jiaqi1
  • You, Joyce Hoi-Sze1
  • 1 The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Published Article
Journal of Medical Internet Research
JMIR Publications Inc.
Publication Date
Mar 03, 2021
DOI: 10.2196/26516
PMID: 33656440
PMCID: PMC7931824
PubMed Central
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic has caused patients to avoid seeking medical care. Provision of telemonitoring programs in addition to usual care has demonstrated improved effectiveness in managing patients with heart failure (HF). Objective We aimed to examine the potential clinical and health economic outcomes of a telemonitoring program for management of patients with HF during the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of health care providers in Hong Kong. Methods A Markov model was designed to compare the outcomes of a care under COVID-19 (CUC) group and a telemonitoring plus CUC group (telemonitoring group) in a hypothetical cohort of older patients with HF in Hong Kong. The model outcome measures were direct medical cost, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. Sensitivity analyses were performed to examine the model assumptions and the robustness of the base-case results. Results In the base-case analysis, the telemonitoring group showed a higher QALY gain (1.9007) at a higher cost (US $15,888) compared to the CUC group (1.8345 QALYs at US $15,603). Adopting US $48,937/QALY (1 × the gross domestic product per capita of Hong Kong) as the willingness-to-pay threshold, telemonitoring was accepted as a highly cost-effective strategy, with an incremental cost-effective ratio of US $4292/QALY. No threshold value was identified in the deterministic sensitivity analysis. In the probabilistic sensitivity analysis, telemonitoring was accepted as cost-effective in 99.22% of 10,000 Monte Carlo simulations. Conclusions Compared to the current outpatient care alone under the COVID-19 pandemic, the addition of telemonitoring-mediated management to the current care for patients with HF appears to be a highly cost-effective strategy from the perspective of health care providers in Hong Kong.

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