Cost-minimization analysis of a telehomecare program for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Telemed J E Health. 2006 Apr;12(2):114-21. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2006.12.114.


A cost-minimization analysis was performed on a telehomecare program for patients with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The research was quasi-experimental and included a control group. We compared the effects and costs of care provided to a group of 19 patients under a telehomecare program to a comparable group of 10 patients receiving regular home care without telemonitoring. Our results clearly indicate that there were fewer home visits by nurses and hospitalizations for patients in the experimental group. However, these patients made more telephone calls than patients in the control group, although this difference was not statistically significant. Of utmost importance, the cost-minimization analysis yielded positive results. Indeed, telemonitoring over a 6-month period generated $355 in savings per patient, or a net gain of 15% compared to traditional home care. Our study confirms the findings of previous studies that analyzed the efficacy of telemonitoring for patients with COPD. Patients were found to easily accept the idea of using the technology, and the telehomecare program demonstrated significant clinical benefits. Financial advantages of the program could have been more pronounced had it not been for the cost of technology that effectively erased a good portion of the savings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost Control
  • Home Care Services / economics*
  • Hospitalization / trends
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / economics*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Quebec
  • Telemedicine / economics*