Long-term cost-effectiveness of disease management in systolic heart failure

George Miller, Stephen Randolph, Emma Forkner, Brad Smith, Autumn Dawn Galbreath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background. Although congestive heart failure (CHF) is a primary target for disease management programs, previous studies have generated mixed results regarding the effectiveness and cost savings of disease management when applied to CHF. Objective. We estimated the long-term impact of systolic heart failure disease management from the results of an 18-month clinical trial. Methods. We used data generated from the trial (starting population distributions, resource utilization, mortality rates, and transition probabilities) in a Markov model to project results of continuing the disease management program for the patients' lifetimes. Outputs included distribution of illness severity, mortality, resource consumption, and the cost of resources consumed. Both cost and effectiveness were discounted at a rate of 3% per year. Cost-effectiveness was computed as cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Results. Model results were validated against trial data and indicated that, over their lifetimes, patients experienced a lifespan extension of 51 days. Combined discounted lifetime program and medical costs were $4850 higher in the disease management group than the control group, but the program had a favorable long-term discounted cost-effectiveness of $43,650/QALY. These results are robust to assumptions regarding mortality rates, the impact of aging on the cost of care, the discount rate, utility values, and the targeted population. Conclusions. Estimation of the clinical benefits and financial burden of disease management can be enhanced by model-based analyses to project costs and effectiveness. Our results suggest that disease management of heart failure patients can be cost-effective over the long term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Decision Making
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Markov model
  • Patients
  • Systolic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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