Return on Investment of the Primary Health Care Integrated Geriatric Services Initiative Implementation
BACKGROUND: Since June 2017, the Primary Health Care Integrated Geriatric Services Initiative (PHC IGSI) has been implemented in Alberta, Canada to, among other aims, reduce costs of unplanned health service utilization while maximizing the utilization of available community resources to support people living with dementia living in communities.
AIM OF THE STUDY: We performed an economic evaluation of this initiative to inform policy regarding sustainability, scale up and spread.
METHODS: We used a cohort design together with a difference-in-difference approach and a propensity score matching technique to calculate impacts of the intervention on patient’s health service utilization, including inpatient, outpatient and physician services, as well as prescription drugs. We then used a decision tree to compare between benefits and costs of the intervention and reported net benefits (NB) and return on investment ratios (ROI). We used a health system perspective and a time horizon of 1 year. Both deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed for the uncertainty of parameters. We analyzed real-world data extracted from the Alberta Health Administrative Databases. All costs/savings were inflated to 2019 CAD (CAD 1 \sim = USD 0.75) using the Canadian Consumer Price Index.
RESULTS: The intervention reduced the use of hospital (inpatient, emergency, and outpatient) services by increasing the use of community services (physician and prescription drug). As hospital services are expensive, the PHC IGSI community intervention resulted in a NB from CAD 554 to 4,046 per patient-year for the health system, and a ROI from 1.3 to 3.1 meaning that every CAD invested in PHC IGSI would bring CAD 1.3 to 3.1 in return. The probability of PHC IGSI to be cost-saving was 56.4% to 69.3%.
IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH CARE PROVISION AND USE: The PHC IGSI is cost-effective in Alberta.
IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH POLICY: The savings would be larger if the initiative is sustained, scaled up and spread because of not only a reduced cost of intervention in the sustainability phase, but also because of the increased number of patients that would be impacted.
IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH: Future studies taking a societal perspective to also include costs for families and health and social sectors at the community level, would be desirable. Additionally, future works to determine how wellbeing is impacted by the PHC IGSI as vertical and horizontal integration interventions are implemented at the community level, are essential to undertake. Finally, in addition to people living with dementia, the PHC IGSI also supports people living in the community with frailty and other geriatric syndromes, therefore, the cost-savings estimated in this study are likely underestimated.
Thanh, N. X., Patil, T., Knudsen, C., Hamlin, S. N., Lightfoot, H., Hanson, H. M., . . . Fielding, S. (2020). Return on Investment of the Primary Health Care Integrated Geriatric Services Initiative Implementation. J Ment Health Policy Econ, 23(3), 101-109.