Objective: Evaluation of the incremental cost-effectiveness of therapy for amblyopia.
Design: Cost-utility reference-case analysis.
Methods: A cost-utility analysis was performed from a third-party insurer perspective by using decision analysis, evidence-based data from the literature, and patient preference-based time trade-off utility values.
Database: Patient-derived time trade-off ocular utility values and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Pattern guidelines for the treatment of amblyopia.
Intervention: Treatment of childhood amblyopia using medical and surgical therapies per the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Pattern.
Main outcome measure: Dollars (year 2001 nominal U.S. dollars) expended per quality-adjusted life-year ($/QALY) gained.
Results: Treatment for amblyopia resulted in a $/QALY gained of $2281 with a discount rate of 3% for costs and outcomes. Sensitivity analysis, varying costs and utility values by 10%, resulted in a $/QALY gained range from $2053 to $2509.
Conclusions: When compared with other interventions in health care, therapy for amblyopia seems to be highly cost-effective. This information is increasingly important for health care policy makers.