, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 97-107
Date: 28 Sep 2011

Cost-effectiveness of the Concord Minimal Trauma Fracture Liaison service, a prospective, controlled fracture prevention study

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Abstract

Summary

We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of a fracture liaison service prospectively designed to have a parallel control group treated by standard care. The clinical effectiveness of this service was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio versus standard care of Australian dollars (AUD) 17,291 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained.

Introduction

Osteoporotic fractures are a major burden for national health services. The risk of re-fracture following an osteoporotic fracture is particularly high. In a study unique in prospectively having a control group treated by standard care, we recently demonstrated that a Minimal Trauma Fracture Liaison (MTFL) service significantly reduces the risk of re-fracture by 80%. Since the service involves greater use of resources, we have now evaluated whether it is cost-effective.

Methods

A Markov model was developed that incorporated fracture probabilities and resource utilization data (expressed in AUD) obtained directly from the 4-year MTFL service clinical study. Resource utilization, local cost and mortality data and fracture-related health utility data were used to calculate QALYs with the MTFL service and standard care. Main outcome measures were: additional costs of the MTFL service over standard care, the financial savings achieved through reduced fractures and changes in QALYs associated with reduced fractures calculated over a 10-year simulation period. Costs and QALYs were discounted at 5% annually. Sensitivity analyses quantified the effects of different assumptions of effectiveness and resource utilization associated with the MTFL service.

Results

The MTFL service improved QALYs by 0.089 years and led to increased costs of AUD 1,486 per patient versus standard care over the 10-year simulation period. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio versus standard care was AUD 17,291 per QALY gained. Results were robust under all plausible assumptions.

Conclusions

The MTFL service is a cost-effective intervention to reduce recurrent osteoporotic fractures.