A recent study, published on PubMed, is turning the spotlight on a revolutionary cost-assessment approach in healthcare – Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC). This innovative method seeks to comprehensively analyze costs associated with chronic diseases, specifically focusing on deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and leg ulcers. The study, conducted in Italy, holds the promise of improving cost-effectiveness and patient care.
Deep vein thrombosis and leg ulcers are chronic conditions that have long posed challenges for healthcare providers and patients alike. The research, led by Carla Rognoni, Alessandro Furnari, Marzia Lugli, Oscar Maleti, Alessandro Greco, and Rosanna Tarricone, aimed to compare the cost-effectiveness of venous stenting to the conventional approach involving compression and anticoagulation, often referred to as the standard of care (SOC).
Applying TDABC to both treatment methods offered a detailed insight into the actual costs involved. By combining clinical data from existing literature with real-world observations, the study presents a comprehensive picture of the economic implications of these treatments.
The results were eye-opening. Venous stenting, although showing promise in terms of clinical outcomes, was found to have higher costs. The Incremental Cost Utility Ratio (ICUR) for venous stenting compared to SOC revealed significant differences, with EUR 10,270 per Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) from the hospital perspective and EUR 8,962 per QALY from the societal viewpoint.
One particularly interesting finding was that the mean cost per patient for venous stenting exceeded the Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) reimbursement. In contrast, patients undergoing the standard of care faced a different economic challenge, with a substantial portion of the costs being borne by the patients themselves.
TDABC’s application unveiled the potential cost-effectiveness of venous stenting in treating DVT and leg ulcers. However, it also exposed a gap in reimbursement rates, suggesting that these rates may not entirely cover the actual costs, leaving patients with a share of the financial burden.
This research marks a significant step towards redefining the healthcare cost landscape, making it more transparent and patient-friendly, especially for chronic conditions like DVT and leg ulcers.