Cost-Effectiveness of Self-Managed Anticoagulant Therapy in Germany
06 February 2008 (online)
In this study, the cost-effectiveness of anticoagulation self-management-which is now established in Germany-was compared with the conventional method of monitoring oral anticoagulant therapy by the patient's family physician or by a specialist. Costs were determined based on the usual conditions in Germany such as frequency of testing and control testing, scope of the tests, and diagnostic and therapeutic standards for thromboembolic or bleeding complications. In addition to direct monitoring costs, we determined the costs for treating minor and serious complications and used them to calculate overall therapy costs. The incidence of complications was estimated based on the results of more recent studies. The only costs considered in this study were those covered by the primary cost carrier-the government-controlled health insurance funds-and included outpatient visits and, in cases of serious complications, acute inpatient treatment and rehabilitation. It was shown that the costs to treat minor complications only slightly affected annual, overall treatment costs. The potential reduction in incidences of serious bleeding and thromboembolic complications due to anticoagulation self-management-which is independent of the indication for oral anticoagulation-reduced overall therapy costs from DM 2,061.48/patient-year for conventional therapeutic methods to DM 1,342.46/patient-year for patients under self-management of anticoagulation.
Cost-effectiveness - patient self-management - oral anticoagulation - bleeding - thromboembolism