Publications by authors named "Rebecca Hancock-Howard"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Cost-Utility Analysis of Electroconvulsive Therapy and Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression in Ontario.

Can J Psychiatry 2020 03 5;65(3):164-173. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Objectives: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and combining both treatments in a stepped care pathway for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in Ontario.

Methods: A cost-utility analysis evaluated the lifetime costs and benefits to society of rTMS and ECT as first-line treatments for TRD using a Markov model, which simulates the costs and health benefits of patients over their lifetime. Health states included acute treatment, maintenance treatment, remission, and severe depression. Treatment efficacy and health utility data were extracted and synthesized from randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses evaluating these techniques. Direct costing data were obtained from national and provincial costing databases. Indirect costs were derived from government records. Scenario, threshold, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to test robustness of the results.

Results: rTMS dominated ECT, as it was less costly and produced better health outcomes, measured in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), in the base case scenario. rTMS patients gained an average of 0.96 additional QALYs (equivalent to approximately 1 year in perfect health) over their lifetime with costs that were $46,094 less than ECT. rTMS remained dominant in the majority of scenario and threshold analyses. However, results from scenarios in which the model's maximum lifetime allowance of rTMS treatment courses was substantially limited, the dominance of rTMS over ECT was attenuated. The scenario that showed the highest QALY gain (1.19) and the greatest cost-savings ($46,614) was when rTMS nonresponders switched to ECT.

Conclusion: From a societal perspective utilizing a lifetime horizon, rTMS is a cost-effective first-line treatment option for TRD relative to ECT, as it is less expensive and produces better health outcomes. The reduced side effect profile and greater patient acceptability of rTMS that allow it to be administered more times than ECT in a patient's lifetime may contribute to its cost-effectiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0706743719890167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019468PMC
March 2020

Iron deficiency screening for children at 18 months: a cost-utility analysis.

CMAJ Open 2019 Oct-Dec;7(4):E689-E698. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (Carsley), Public Health Ontario; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Fu, Borkhoff, Reid, Baginska, Birken, Maguire, Hancock-Howard, Parkin, Coyte), Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Child Health Evaluative Sciences (Borkhoff, Birken, Parkin), Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, The Hospital for Sick Children; Division of Pediatric Medicine and the Pediatric Outcomes Research Team (Borkhoff, Birken, Maguire, Parkin), Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children; Department of Pediatrics (Maguire), St. Michael's Hospital and Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute; Department of Nutritional Sciences (Birken, Maguire), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.

Background: The peak prevalence of iron deficiency is in children 6 months to 3 years of age, a sensitive period for neurodevelopment. Our study objective was to examine the cost-utility of a proposed iron deficiency screening program for 18-month-old children.

Methods: We used a decision tree model to estimate the costs in 2019 Canadian dollars and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) associated with 3 iron deficiency screening strategies: no screening, universal screening and targeted screening for a high-risk population. We used a societal perspective and assessed lifetime QALY gains. We derived outcomes from the literature and prospectively collected data. We performed one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses to assess parameter uncertainty.

Results: The incremental costs to society of universal and targeted screening programs compared to no screening were $2286.06/QALY and $1676.94/QALY, respectively. With a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50 000/QALY, both programs were cost-effective. Compared to a targeted screening program, a universal screening program would cost an additional $2965.96 to gain 1 QALY, which renders it a cost-effective option. The study findings were robust to extensive sensitivity analyses.

Interpretation: A proposed universal screening program for iron deficiency would be cost-effective over the lifespan compared to both no screening (current standard of care) and a targeted screening program for children at high risk. Policy-makers and physicians may consider expanding the recommended 18-month enhanced well-baby visit to include screening for iron deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20190084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6890493PMC
December 2019

Iron deficiency screening for children at 18 months: a cost-utility analysis.

CMAJ Open 2019 Oct-Dec;7(4):E689-E698. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (Carsley), Public Health Ontario; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Fu, Borkhoff, Reid, Baginska, Birken, Maguire, Hancock-Howard, Parkin, Coyte), Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Child Health Evaluative Sciences (Borkhoff, Birken, Parkin), Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, The Hospital for Sick Children; Division of Pediatric Medicine and the Pediatric Outcomes Research Team (Borkhoff, Birken, Maguire, Parkin), Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children; Department of Pediatrics (Maguire), St. Michael's Hospital and Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute; Department of Nutritional Sciences (Birken, Maguire), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.

Background: The peak prevalence of iron deficiency is in children 6 months to 3 years of age, a sensitive period for neurodevelopment. Our study objective was to examine the cost-utility of a proposed iron deficiency screening program for 18-month-old children.

Methods: We used a decision tree model to estimate the costs in 2019 Canadian dollars and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) associated with 3 iron deficiency screening strategies: no screening, universal screening and targeted screening for a high-risk population. We used a societal perspective and assessed lifetime QALY gains. We derived outcomes from the literature and prospectively collected data. We performed one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses to assess parameter uncertainty.

Results: The incremental costs to society of universal and targeted screening programs compared to no screening were $2286.06/QALY and $1676.94/QALY, respectively. With a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50 000/QALY, both programs were cost-effective. Compared to a targeted screening program, a universal screening program would cost an additional $2965.96 to gain 1 QALY, which renders it a cost-effective option. The study findings were robust to extensive sensitivity analyses.

Interpretation: A proposed universal screening program for iron deficiency would be cost-effective over the lifespan compared to both no screening (current standard of care) and a targeted screening program for children at high risk. Policy-makers and physicians may consider expanding the recommended 18-month enhanced well-baby visit to include screening for iron deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20190084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6890493PMC
December 2019

A cost analysis comparing telepsychiatry to in-person psychiatric outreach and patient travel reimbursement in Northern Ontario communities.

J Telemed Telecare 2020 Dec 24;26(10):607-618. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Introduction: Residents of Northern Ontario have limited access to local psychiatric care. To address this, three program models exist: (1) telepsychiatry; (2) psychiatrists traveling to underserved areas; and (3) reimbursing patients for travel to a psychiatrist. Evidence shows that telepsychiatry has comparable outcomes to in-person consultations. The objective of this study was to determine the cost difference between programs.

Methods: A cost-minimization analysis estimating cost per visit from a public healthcare payer economic costing perspective was conducted. Data on fixed and variable costs were obtained. Evidence-based assumptions were made where relevant. Base-case scenarios and a break-even analysis were completed, as well as deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses, to explore the effects of parameter variability on program costs.

Results: Costs per visit were lowest in telepsychiatry (CAD$360) followed by traveling physicians (CAD$558) and patient reimbursement (CAD$620). Among the 100,000 Monte Carlo simulations, results showed telepsychiatry was the least costly program in 71.2% of the simulations, while the reimbursement and outreach programs were least costly in 15.1% and 13.7% of simulations, respectively. The break-even analysis found telepsychiatry was the least costly program after an annual patient visit threshold of approximately 76 visits (compared to traveling psychiatrists) and 126 visits (compared to reimbursed patients).

Discussion: Our analyses support telepsychiatry as the least costly program. These results have important implications for program planning, including the prioritization of telepsychiatry, increased integration of telepsychiatry with other modalities of outreach psychiatry, and limiting use of the patient remuneration program to where medically necessary, to reduce overall cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1357633X19853139DOI Listing
December 2020

A Cost Analysis of Pulse Oximetry as a Determinant in the Decision to Admit Infants With Mild to Moderate Bronchiolitis.

Pediatr Emerg Care 2018 Dec 27. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

Objectives: A previous randomized controlled trial showed that artificially elevating the pulse oximetry display resulted in fewer hospitalizations with no worse outcomes. This suggests that management decisions based mainly on pulse oximetry may unnecessarily increase health care costs. This study assessed the incremental cost of altered relative to true oximetry in infants with mild to moderate bronchiolitis.

Methods: A cost analysis was undertaken from the health care system and societal perspectives using patient-level data from the randomized controlled trial, with a 5-day time horizon after emergency department visit. Infants aged 4 weeks to 12 months with mild to moderate bronchiolitis were randomized to pulse oximetry measurements with true or altered saturation values displayed by artificially increasing saturation 3% points above true values. Direct and indirect health care costs were measured. Sensitivity analyses were performed to assess parameter uncertainty.

Results: From the health care system perspective, the average cost per patient was Can $1155 for altered oximetry and $1967 for true oximetry, with a net savings of $812. From a societal perspective, the average cost per patient was $1559 for altered oximetry and $2473 for true oximetry, with a net savings of $914. Probabilistic analyses demonstrated that altered oximetry remained the less costly study group, with an average savings of $810 (95% confidence interval, $748-$872) from the health care system perspective and $910 (95% confidence interval, $848-$973) from the societal system perspective.

Conclusions: Reliance on oximetry as a major determinant in the decision to hospitalize infants with mild to moderate bronchiolitis is associated with significantly greater costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PEC.0000000000001664DOI Listing
December 2018

A cost-utility analysis of transcatheter versus surgical aortic valve replacement for the treatment of aortic stenosis in the population with intermediate surgical risk.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2018 05 2;155(5):1978-1988.e1. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Program of Child Health Evaluative Services, The Hospital for Sick Children, Peter Gilgan Centre For Research and Learning, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Division of Cardiology, Schulich Heart Centre, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Objective: Although transcatheter aortic valve implantation has been shown to be noninferior to surgical aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic stenosis at intermediate surgical risk, the cost-effectiveness of this strategy in this population is unknown. Our objective was to conduct a cost-utility analysis comparing transcatheter aortic valve implantation with surgical aortic valve replacement in the population with intermediate risk severe aortic stenosis.

Methods: A fully probabilistic Markov model with 30-day cycles was constructed from the Canadian third-party payer's perspective to estimate the difference in cost and effectiveness (measured as quality-adjusted life years) of transcatheter aortic valve implantation versus surgical aortic valve replacement for intermediate-risk patients over a lifetime time horizon, discounted at 1.5% per annum. Clinical trial data from The Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valve 2 informed the efficacy inputs. Costs (adjusted to 2016 Canadian dollars) were obtained from the Canadian Institute of Health Information and the Ontario Schedule of Benefits. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated.

Results: In the base-case analysis, total lifetime costs for transcatheter aortic valve implantation were $10,548 higher than surgical aortic valve replacement but added 0.23 quality-adjusted life years, for an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $46,083/quality-adjusted life-years gained. Deterministic 1-way analyses showed that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was sensitive to rates of complications and cost of the transcatheter aortic valve implantation prosthesis. There was moderate-to-high parameter uncertainty; transcatheter aortic valve implantation was the preferred option in only 52.7% and 55.4% of the simulations at a $50,000 and $100,000 per quality-adjusted life years willingness-to-pay thresholds, respectively.

Conclusions: On the basis of current evidence, transcatheter aortic valve implantation may be cost-effective for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis in patients with intermediate surgical risk. There remains moderate-to-high uncertainty surrounding the base-case incremental cost-effectiveness ratio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.11.112DOI Listing
May 2018

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Six Strategies to Treat Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection.

PLoS One 2016 22;11(2):e0149521. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Objective: To assess the cost-effectiveness of six treatment strategies for patients diagnosed with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Canada: 1. oral metronidazole; 2. oral vancomycin; 3.oral fidaxomicin; 4. fecal transplantation by enema; 5. fecal transplantation by nasogastric tube; and 6. fecal transplantation by colonoscopy.

Perspective: Public insurer for all hospital and physician services.

Setting: Ontario, Canada.

Methods: A decision analytic model was used to model costs and lifetime health effects of each strategy for a typical patient experiencing up to three recurrences, over 18 weeks. Recurrence data and utilities were obtained from published sources. Cost data was obtained from published sources and hospitals in Toronto, Canada. The willingness-to-pay threshold was $50,000/QALY gained.

Results: Fecal transplantation by colonoscopy dominated all other strategies in the base case, as it was less costly and more effective than all alternatives. After accounting for uncertainty in all model parameters, there was an 87% probability that fecal transplantation by colonoscopy was the most beneficial strategy. If colonoscopy was not available, fecal transplantation by enema was cost-effective at $1,708 per QALY gained, compared to metronidazole. In addition, fecal transplantation by enema was the preferred strategy if the probability of recurrence following this strategy was below 8.7%. If fecal transplantation by any means was unavailable, fidaxomicin was cost-effective at an additional cost of $25,968 per QALY gained, compared to metronidazole.

Conclusion: Fecal transplantation by colonoscopy (or enema, if colonoscopy is unavailable) is cost-effective for treating recurrent CDI in Canada. Where fecal transplantation is not available, fidaxomicin is also cost-effective.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0149521PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4769325PMC
July 2016

Phase-specific healthcare costs of cervical cancer: estimates from a population-based study.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2016 05 25;214(5):615.e1-615.e11. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, ON, Canada; Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: There is a lack of evidence on the economic burden of managing cervical cancer in the public payer Canadian setting.

Objective: We used individual patient-level data to obtain a comprehensive estimate of the cost of managing cervical cancer in the province of Ontario, identifying main cost drivers and predictors of increased costs.

Study Design: The cost-of-illness technique was used to estimate the incremental costs associated with cervical cancer in 4 phases: prediagnosis, initial care, continuing care, and terminal care. All patients with cervical cancer diagnosed between 2005 and 2009 in the province of Ontario were propensity-score matched to 5 noncancer controls on birth year, income quintile, rurality, comorbidities, and patterns of healthcare utilization pattern during the 2 years before cancer diagnosis. Both cases and the noncancer comparison group were followed to death or March 31, 2013. Costs for all healthcare services paid for by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care during the follow-up period were estimated by the use of linked administrative data. Incremental costs for managing cervical cancer were calculated through generalized estimating equations. Predictors of greater health costs were explored using multivariate quantile regression models.

Results: All costs were presented in 2012 Canadian dollars ($1.00CDN = $1.00USD). The total incremental costs for managing cervical cancer were $362 in the pre-diagnosis phase, $15,722 in the initial phase, $3924 per year in the continuing phase, and $52,539 in the terminal phase. Inpatient care accounted for 34%, 28%, and 52% of total healthcare cost in the initial, continuing, and terminal phase, respectively. Physician services ranked first in the continuing phase (30%) and second in the initial (26%) and terminal (13%) phases. Advanced age, advanced cancer stage at diagnosis, and comorbidities were significant predictors of greater costs in most care phases.

Conclusion: Aggregate costs of care for cervical cancer are substantial and vary by cancer stage, phase of care, patient age at diagnosis, and comorbidities before diagnosis. These estimates can serve as baseline data in economic analyses that aim to evaluate interventions for managing cervical cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2015.11.021DOI Listing
May 2016

Cost analysis of inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa in adolescents: hospital and caregiver perspectives.

CMAJ Open 2015 Apr-Jun;3(2):E192-7. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.

Background: Admission to hospital is the treatment of choice for anorexia nervosa in adolescent patients who are medically unstable; however, stays are often prolonged and frequently disrupt normal adolescent development, family functioning, school and work productivity. We sought to determine the costs of inpatient treatment in this population from a hospital and caregiver perspective, and to identify determinants of such costs.

Methods: We used micro-costing methods for this cohort study involving all adolescent patients (age 12-18 yr) admitted for treatment of anorexia nervosa at a tertiary care child and adolescent eating disorder program in Toronto, between Sept. 1, 2011, and Mar. 31, 2013. We used hospital administrative data and Canadian census data to calculate hospital and caregiver costs.

Results: We included 73 adolescents in our cohort for cost-analysis. We determined a mean total hospital cost in 2013 Canadian dollars of $51 349 (standard deviation [SD] $26 598) and a mean total societal cost of $54 932 (SD $27 864) per admission, based on a mean length of stay of 37.9 days (SD 19.7 d). We found patient body mass index (BMI) to be the only significant negative predictor of hospital cost (p < 0.001). For every unit increase in BMI, we saw a 15.7% decrease in hospital cost. In addition, we found higher BMI (p < 0.001) and younger age (p < 0.05) to be significant negative predictors of caregiver costs.

Interpretation: The economic burden of inpatient treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa on hospitals and caregivers is substantial, especially among younger patients and those with lower BMI. Recognizing the symptoms of eating disorders early may preclude the need for admission to hospital altogether or result in admissions at higher BMIs, thereby potentially reducing these costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20140086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4565171PMC
September 2015

Health economic implications of perioperative delirium in older patients after surgery for a fragility hip fracture.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2015 May;97(10):829-36

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, 399 Bathurst Street, 1E441, Toronto, ON M5T 2S8, Canada. E-mail address for M.G. Zywiel: E-mail address for Y.R. Rampersaud:

Background: Patients who experience a fragility hip fracture are at high risk for perioperative delirium. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact, from a hospital perspective, of perioperative delirium on the length of the hospital stay and episode-of-care costs for elderly patients who underwent surgical treatment of a fragility hip fracture.

Methods: A total of 242 patients sixty-five years of age or older (mean age, eighty-two years; range, sixty-five to 103 years) who underwent surgical treatment of a fragility hip fracture at a single center between January 2011 and December 2012 were evaluated. Demographic, clinical, surgical, and adverse-events data were extracted and analyzed. The confusion assessment method (CAM) was used prospectively to detect perioperative delirium.

Results: One hundred and sixteen (48%) of the 242 patients developed perioperative delirium during their stay in the hospital. Compared with patients with no delirium, delirium was associated with a mean incremental total length of hospital stay of 7.4 days (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.7 to 11.2 days; p < 0.001), a mean incremental length of stay following surgery of 7.4 days (95% CI = 3.8 to 11.1 days; p < 0.001), and a mean incremental episode-of-care cost (in 2012 Canadian dollars) of $8286 (95% CI = $3690 to $12,881; p < 0.001). The total incremental episode-of-care cost attributable to delirium over the study period was $961,131 in 2012 Canadian dollars.

Conclusions: Nearly 50% of elderly patients who underwent surgery for a fragility hip fracture developed perioperative delirium, which was associated with a significant incremental in-hospital length of stay and significant incremental episode-of-care costs. These findings highlight the importance of implementing cost-effective interventions to reduce the prevalence of perioperative delirium in elderly patients with a low-energy hip fracture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.N.00724DOI Listing
May 2015

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Comparing Pre-diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)-Targeted Intervention with Ontario's Autism Intervention Program.

J Autism Dev Disord 2015 Sep;45(9):2833-47

Autism Research Centre, Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, 150 Kilgour Rd., Toronto, ON, M4G 1R8, Canada,

Novel management strategies for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) propose providing interventions before diagnosis. We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis comparing the costs and dependency-free life years (DFLYs) generated by pre-diagnosis intensive Early Start Denver Model (ESDM-I); pre-diagnosis parent-delivered ESDM (ESDM-PD); and the Ontario Status Quo (SQ). The analyses took government and societal perspectives to age 65. We assigned probabilities of Independent, Semi-dependent or Dependent living based on projected IQ. Costs per person (in Canadian dollars) were ascribed to each living setting. From a government perspective, the ESDM-PD produced an additional 0.17 DFLYs for $8600 less than SQ. From a societal perspective, the ESDM-I produced an additional 0.53 DFLYs for $45,000 less than SQ. Pre-diagnosis interventions targeting ASD symptoms warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2447-0DOI Listing
September 2015

Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for patients in shock or cardiac arrest secondary to cardiotoxicant poisoning: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

J Crit Care 2015 Apr 16;30(2):437.e7-14. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Health Economics at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation represents an emerging and recommended option to treat life-threatening cardiotoxicant poisoning. The objective of this cost-effectiveness analysis was to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of using venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for adults in cardiotoxicant-induced shock or cardiac arrest compared with standard care.

Materials And Methods: Adults in shock or in cardiac arrest secondary to cardiotoxicant poisoning were studied with a lifetime horizon and a societal perspective. Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cost effectiveness was calculated using a decision analysis tree, with the effect of the intervention and the probabilities used in the model taken from an observational study representing the highest level of evidence available. The costs (2013 Canadian dollars, where $1.00 Canadian = $0.9562 US dollars) were documented with interviews, reviews of official provincial documents, or published articles. A series of one-way sensitivity analyses and a probabilistic sensitivity analysis using Monte Carlo simulation were used to evaluate uncertainty in the decision model.

Results: The cost per life year (LY) gained in the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation group was $145 931/18 LY compared with $88 450/10 LY in the non-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation group. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio ($7185/LY but $34 311/LY using a more pessimistic approach) was mainly influenced by the probability of survival. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis identified variability in both cost and effectiveness.

Conclusion: Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation may be cost effective in treating cardiotoxicant poisonings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2014.10.010DOI Listing
April 2015

Cost effectiveness of transcatheter aortic valve replacement compared to medical management in inoperable patients with severe aortic stenosis: Canadian analysis based on the PARTNER Trial Cohort B findings.

J Med Econ 2013 6;16(4):566-74. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

OptumInsight, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: The only effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis (AS) is valve replacement. However, many patients with co-existing conditions are ineligible for surgical valve replacement, historically leaving medical management (MM) as the only option which has a poor prognosis. Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a less invasive replacement method. The objective was to estimate cost-effectiveness of TAVR via transfemoral access vs MM in surgically inoperable patients with severe AS from the Canadian public healthcare system perspective.

Methods: A cost-effectiveness analysis of TAVR vs MM was conducted using a deterministic decision analytic model over a 3-year time horizon. The PARTNER randomized controlled trial results were used to estimate survival, utilities, and some resource utilization. Costs included the valve replacement procedure, complications, hospitalization, outpatient visits/tests, and home/nursing care. Resources were valued (2009 Canadian dollars) using costs from the Ontario Case Costing Initiative (OCCI), Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Ontario Drug Benefits Formulary, or were estimated using relative costs from a French economic evaluation or clinical experts. Costs and outcomes were discounted 5% annually. The effect of uncertainty in model parameters was explored in deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis.

Results: The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was $32,170 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained for TAVR vs MM. When the time horizon was shortened to 24 and 12 months, the ICER increased to $52,848 and $157,429, respectively. All other sensitivity analysis returned an ICER of less than $50,000/QALY gained.

Limitations: A limitation was lack of availability of Canadian-specific resource and cost data for all resources, leaving one to rely on clinical experts and data from France to inform certain parameters.

Conclusions: Based on the results of this analysis, it can be concluded that TAVR is cost-effective compared to MM for the treatment of severe AS in surgically inoperable patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3111/13696998.2013.770747DOI Listing
September 2013

Public preferences for counseling regarding antidepressant use during pregnancy: a discrete choice experiment.

Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 2012 Jul 22;94(7):532-9. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

OptumInsight, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Counseling about medication safety during pregnancy is delivered inconsistently. The objectives were to determine public preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for attributes of counseling regarding antidepressant use during pregnancy. Attributes reflected counseling via a telephone Teratology Information Service (TIS) or a visit to a general practitioner (GP).

Methods: A discrete choice survey was conducted with volunteers recruited from the general public. Stated preferences and WTP for teratology counseling were described by six attributes: training of information provider (IP), method of contact, knowing the IP, confidence in the IP, helpfulness of information, and cost. Interactions of preferences with participant characteristics were examined.

Results: Of 175 participants, 85% were women and 91% had some college or university education. All attributes had a significant effect on choice. The most important attribute was the helpfulness of information received (WTP C$59 for very helpful information). Counseling via telephone by a trained specialist was preferred, as in a TIS. It was preferred, however, to speak with a provider known to the user (WTP C$43) which is common in a GP setting. Maximum willingness to pay for very helpful information was less for respondents with less education. Respondents who stated that an antidepressant exposure would make them anxious about the pregnancy were willing to pay more for all attributes.

Conclusions: The results suggest that TIS is the preferred model for counseling regarding to antidepressant use during pregnancy. The public valued information that was helpful and preferred receiving information in nontraditional formats; however, familiarity with the provider was important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdra.23042DOI Listing
July 2012

Deborah Marshall, PhD: An Advocate for Patient-Centered Research.

Patient 2010 Dec;3(4):207-8

i3 Innovus, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2165/11531080-000000000-00000DOI Listing
December 2010

A cost effectiveness analysis of thiopurine methyltransferase testing for guiding 6-mercaptopurine dosing in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2011 Aug 22;57(2):231-9. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Department of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: An increased understanding of the genetic basis of disease creates a demand for personalized medicine and more genetic testing for diagnosis and treatment. The objective was to assess the incremental cost-effectiveness per life-month gained of thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) genotyping to guide doses of 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) compared to enzymatic testing and standard weight-based dosing.

Procedure: A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted from a health care system perspective comparing costs and consequences over 3 months. Decision analysis was used to evaluate the impact of TPMT tests on preventing myelosuppression and improving survival in ALL patients receiving 6-MP. Direct medical costs included laboratory tests, medications, physician services, pharmacy and inpatient care. Probabilities were derived from published evidence. Survival was measured in life-months. The robustness of the results to variable uncertainty was tested in one-way sensitivity analyses. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis examined the impact of parameter uncertainty and generated confidence intervals around point estimates.

Results: Neither of the testing interventions showed a benefit in survival compared to weight-based dosing. Both test strategies were more costly compared to weight-based dosing. Incremental costs per child (95% confidence interval) were $277 ($112, $442) and $298 ($392, $421) for the genotyping and phenotyping strategies, respectively, compared to weight-based dosing.

Conclusions: The present analysis suggests that screening for TPMT mutations using either genotype or enzymatic laboratory tests prior to the administration of 6-MP in pediatric ALL patients is not cost-effective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.22936DOI Listing
August 2011

Cost-effectiveness of biologics in polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients unresponsive to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2011 Jan;63(1):111-9

The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic pediatric rheumatic disease and can have long-term effects leading to disability in adulthood. Biologics are a new class of drugs increasingly used to treat JIA. The primary study objective was to determine the incremental costs of biologics per additional responder compared to conventional treatment (methotrexate).

Methods: A separate decision model was created for etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab, and abatacept. The study population consisted of polyarticular-course JIA patients with a prior inadequate response or intolerance to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The effectiveness measure was the proportion of patients who had a treatment response at 1 year according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Pediatric 30 (Pedi 30) improvement criteria. Direct and indirect costs were calculated in 2008 Canadian dollars. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated for each biologic agent using probabilistic sensitivity analyses.

Results: The additional costs per additional ACR Pedi 30 responder at 1 year were $26,061 (95% CI $17,070, $41,834), $46,711 (95% CI $30,042, $75,787), $16,204 (95% CI $11,393, $22,608), and $31,209 (95% CI $16,659, $66,220) for etanercept, adalimumab, abatacept, and infliximab, respectively.

Conclusion: Biologics are more effective than methotrexate in achieving a short-term response in JIA patients with prior inadequate responses to DMARDs; however, this comes at a high annual cost. Adequate long-term data with respect to both safety and effectiveness are not currently available, nor are utility estimates. Such data will be important to estimate value for money for treating JIA with biologic drugs over the long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.20337DOI Listing
January 2011

Cost-effectiveness analysis of implantable venous access device insertion using interventional radiologic versus conventional operating room methods in pediatric patients with cancer.

J Vasc Interv Radiol 2010 May 27;21(5):677-84. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Purpose: Percutaneous image-guided techniques are associated with less tissue trauma and morbidity than open surgical techniques. Interventional radiology has received significant health care investment. The purpose was to determine the cost effectiveness of inserting implantable venous access devices (IVADs) by interventional radiologic means versus conventional operating room surgery in pediatric patients with cancer.

Materials And Methods: In a retrospective cohort analysis, patients presenting with a new tumor diagnosis and receiving a first-time IVAD in January to June 2000 (operative group; n = 30) and January to June 2004 (interventional group; n = 30) were included. A societal costing perspective was adopted. Costs included labor, materials, equipment, inpatient wards, parent travel, and parental productivity losses for 30 days after insertion. Severe complications related to IVAD insertion were microcosted. Costs related to cancer therapy were not included. Incremental cost-effectiveness analysis and sensitivity analysis were performed.

Results: Interventional patients were older (7.3 years vs 4.1 years; P = .01). There were no significant differences between groups in sex, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, or length of hospital stay. Interventional radiologic procedures were shorter (84.9 minutes vs 112.8 minutes; P = 0.01). Interventional radiologic insertion was slightly less costly than operative insertion (Can$622,860 and Can$627,005 per 30-patient group, respectively) and more effective in reducing the complication rate (two vs eight complications per group, respectively; P = .039). The results were sensitive to the cost of operating the operating room.

Conclusions: Interventional radiology was slightly less costly than operative IVAD insertion and resulted in fewer serious complications. It should be considered for IVAD insertions in pediatric patients with cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvir.2010.01.014DOI Listing
May 2010