Centers of excellence implementation for treating rheumatoid arthritis in Colombia: A cost-analysis
Artículo de revista
Background: Health systems need to optimize the use of resources, especially in high-cost diseases as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We aimed to evaluate the efficiency of using centers of excellence (CoE) as a strategy for improving RA treatment in Colombia. Methods: A cost description analysis was carried out using the standard costing technique. We estimated the costs of medical consultations, laboratories, images, and medications for RA. Categories of care standards stratified by severity were defined using the disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28). We evaluated the impact, in terms of costs (US dollars), for providing RA clinical care for a previously described cohort using the CoE approach. Statistical analyses were performed in Microsoft Excel®, and R. Results: Expenditure on therapeutic drugs increases as the severity of RA increases. Drugs represent 53.6% of the total cost for the low disease activity (LDA) stage, 75.2% for moderate disease activity (MDA), 88.5% for severe disease activity (SDA) and 97% for SDA with biologic treatment (SDA+Biologic). Treating 968 patients would cost US$612,639 (US$487,978– 1,220,160) at baseline, per year. After a year of follow-up at the CoE, treating the same patients would cost US$388,765 (US$321,710– 708,476), which implies potential cost-savings of up to US$223,874 per year. Conclusion: The strategy of providing clinical care for RA through CoE can save US$231.3 per patient-per year. The results of our study show that CoE could greatly impact the public policies dealing with treatment of RA in Colombia. Applying the CoE model in our country would both improve health outcomes, as well as being more efficient in terms of costs.
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