Budget Impact of the Vest™ High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation System for Managing Airway Clearance in Patients with Complex Neurological Disorders: A US Healthcare Payers' Perspective Analysis

Pharmacoecon Open. 2022 Mar;6(2):169-178. doi: 10.1007/s41669-021-00299-y. Epub 2021 Sep 1.


Objective: As a recognized therapy to improve airway clearance, high-frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) is used to manage reduced vital capacity in patients with complex neuromuscular disorders (cNMD). This study aimed to investigate the budget impact of HFCWO versus chest wall physical therapy (CWPT) from a US-commercial payer perspective.

Methods: In combination with a previously developed cost-effectiveness model, a budget impact model was developed to evaluate the incremental budgetary impact associated with introducing a HFCWO device over a 5-year time horizon. The model compared the cost implications associated with the commonly used CWPT procedure, as the current scenario, with a new scenario consisting of 80% of market share for HFCWO. The resource use and costs included in the analyses were costs associated with the HFCWO device (Vest™ System) and its consumables, patient training, and medical services such as hospitalization, medications, emergency room, and outpatient visits. The primary outcome measures included total and incremental budgetary impact per member per year (PMPY).

Results: In a hypothetical plan of 1,000,000 members (men: 49.2%), 2099 patients with cNMD were estimated to be eligible to receive airway clearance services over 5 years. The new scenario (HFCWO and CWPT [US$24 PMPY]) was cost-saving compared with the current scenario (CWPT only [$34 PMPY]) with a cost reduction of US$9.46 PMPY. The model estimated a net cost-saving of US$1,594,131 and US$9,591,343 over 1 and 5 years, respectively.

Conclusion: This study suggests the HFCWO technique to manage the reduction in vital capacity in patients with cNMD would lead to favorable budget impact results.