Cost-effectiveness analysis of direct admission to acute geriatric unit versus admission after an emergency department visit for elderly patients

Link to article at PubMed

BMC Geriatr. 2023 May 10;23(1):283. doi: 10.1186/s12877-023-03985-0.


BACKGROUND: Elderly individuals represent an increasing proportion of emergency department (ED) users. In the Greater Paris University Hospitals (APHP) direct-admission study, direct admission (DA) to an acute geriatric unit (AGU) was associated with a shorter hospital length of stay (LOS), lower post-acute care transfers, and lower risk of an ED return visit in the month following the AGU hospitalization compared with admission after an ED visit. Until now, no economic evaluation of DA has been available.

METHODS: We aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of DA to an AGU versus admission after an ED visit in elderly patients. This was conducted alongside the APHP direct-admission study which used electronic medical records and administrative claims data from the Greater Paris University Hospitals (APHP) Health Data Warehouse and involved 19 different AGUs. We included all patients ≥ 75 years old who were admitted to an AGU for more than 24 h between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2018. The effectiveness criterion was the occurrence of ED return visit in the month following AGU hospitalization. We compared the costs of an AGU stay in the DA versus the ED visit group. The perspective was that of the payer. To characterise and summarize uncertainty, we used a non-parametric bootstrap resampling and constructed cost-effectiveness accessibility curves.

RESULTS: At baseline, mean costs per patient were €5113 and €5131 in the DA and ED visit groups, respectively. ED return visit rates were 3.3% (n = 81) in the DA group and 3.9% (n = 160) in the ED group (p = 0.21). After bootstrap, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was €-4249 (95%CI= -66,001; +45,547) per ED return visit averted. Acceptability curves showed that DA could be considered a cost-effective intervention at a threshold of €-2405 per ED return visit avoided.

CONCLUSION: The results of this cost-effectiveness analysis of DA to an AGU versus admission after an ED visit for elderly patients argues in favor of DA, which could help provide support for public decision making.

PMID:37165336 | DOI:10.1186/s12877-023-03985-0

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