Economic evaluation of a nurse-led home and clinic-based secondary prevention programme to prevent progressive cardiac dysfunction in high-risk individuals: The Nurse-led Intervention for Less Chronic Heart Failure (NIL-CHF) randomized controlled study
OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of a long-term, nurse-led, multidisciplinary programme of home/clinic visits in preventing progressive cardiac dysfunction in patients at risk of developing de novo chronic heart failure (CHF). METHODS:A trial-based analysis was conducted alongside a pragmatic, single-centre, open-label, randomized controlled trial of 611 patients (mean age: 66 years) with subclinical cardiovascular diseases (without CHF) discharged to home from an Australian tertiary referral hospital. A nurse-led home and clinic-based programme (NIL-CHF intervention, n = 301) was compared with standard care ( n=310) in terms of life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and healthcare costs. The uncertainty around the incremental cost and QALYs was quantified by bootstrap simulations and displayed on a cost-effectiveness plane. RESULTS:During a median follow-up of 4.2 years, there were no significant between-group differences in life-years (-0.056, p=0.488) and QALYs (-0.072, p=0.399), which were lower in the NIL-CHF group. The NIL-CHF group had slightly lower all-cause hospitalization costs (AUD$2943 per person; p=0.219), cardiovascular-related hospitalization costs (AUD$1142; p=0.592) and a more pronounced reduction in emergency/unplanned hospitalization costs (AUD$4194 per person; p=0.024). When the cost of intervention was added to all-cause, cardiovascular and emergency-related readmissions, the reductions in the NIL-CHF group were AUD$2742 ( p=0.313), AUD$941 ( p=0.719) and AUD$3993 ( p=0.046), respectively. At a willingness-to-pay threshold of AUD$50,000/QALY, the probability of the NIL-CHF intervention being better-valued was 19%. CONCLUSIONS:Compared with standard care, the NIL-CHF intervention was not a cost-effective strategy as life-years and QALYs were slightly lower in the NIL-CHF group. However, it was associated with modest reductions in emergency/unplanned readmission costs.