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Cost effectiveness of blood pressure device evaluated
Date:10/15/2009

gher health care costs (hospitalization, rehabilitation, nursing home care, etc.) over their lifetime. However, individuals with Rheos would have higher upfront costs; researchers estimated that the cost associated with implanting the device both the surgery and the cost of the device itself to be $20,000, an amount comparable to other medical devices such as a deep brain stimulator.

The study then set out to determine what the difference between lifetime medical costs would be, how many years of good health Rheos would help achieve, and at what cost. To measure good health, the researchers employed an analytical tool called quality adjusted life years (QALY), which is defined as a year of perfect health.

While the precise definition is a source of debate in medical circles, it is generally accepted that if a treatment is less than $50,000 per QALY, then it is considered to be cost effective. The study found that the Rheos needed to lower blood pressure by 24mm Hg in order to be cost effective. In current trials the device has been shown to lower blood pressure by 30 to 35mm Hg. The study also found that for individuals with extremely high blood pressure (greater or equal to 206mm Hg) or diabetes, the device was cost effective even if it lowered blood pressure by only 20mm Hg.

"In the past, the question asked of new treatments was 'did it work?' and if it did we offered it to everyone," said University of Rochester cardiologist J. Chad Teeters, M.D., a co-author of the study. "Now the question that is being asked is 'what are we gaining for the extra money?' and there is a higher bar for acceptance of new technologies. This study provides us with an important framework to help evaluate the final results of the clinical trials."


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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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