Objective: Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) of stroke management was evaluated in three care models: Neurology/Rehabilitation wards (NW), Neurosurgery wards (NS), and General/miscellaneous wards (GW) under a universal health insurance system.
Methods: From 1997 to 2002, subjects with first-ever acute stroke were sampled from claims data of a nationally representative cohort in Taiwan, categorized as hemorrhage stroke (HS) including subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH); or, ischemic stroke (IS), including cerebral infarction (CI), transient ischemic attack/ unspecified stroke (TIA/unspecified); with mild-moderate and severe severity. All-cause readmissions or mortality (AE) and direct medical cost during first-year (FYMC) after stroke were explored. CEA was performed by incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.
Results: 2368 first-ever stroke subjects including SAH 3.3%, ICH 17.9%, CI 49.8%, and TIA/unspecified 29.0% were identified with AE 59.0%, 63.0%, 48.6%, 46.8%, respectively. There were 50.8%, 13.5%, 35.6% of stroke patients served by NW, NS and GW with AE 44.9%, 60.6%, 56.0%, and medical costs of US$ 5,031, US$ 8,235, US$ 4,350, respectively. NW was cost-effective for both mild-moderate and severe IS. NS was the dominant care model in mild-moderate HS, while NW appeared to be a cost-minimization model for severe HS.
Conclusions: TIA/unspecified stroke carried substantial risk of AE. NS performed better in serving mild-moderate HS, whereas NW was the optimal care model in management of IS.
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