Evaluating the costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of multi-pathogen point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections

We estimated costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of three accurate 30-minute NAAT POCT strategies that detect different STI combinations, compared with standard care  (laboratory-based NAAT for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG)).  We found the CT-NG-MG-TV POCT strategy was the cheapest using tariff costing. It offered the most benefits, which in turn may have wider public health impacts through rapid and accurate STI diagnosis and management. Different testing strategies may be more cost-effective in different SHCs and patient groups. Further evidence is needed to capture the diversity of STI prevalence and management of patients across clinical services to better inform economic analyses.

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Harding-Esch EM, Huntington SE, Burns RM, et al. Evaluating the costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of multi-pathogen point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections STI & HIV World Congress. 9-12 July 2017. Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

 

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Modelling how point-of-care tests can enable personalised treatment for resistant gonorrhoea infections

We created a mathematical model to investigate the treatment impact and economic implications of introducing an antimicrobial resistance point-of-care test (AMR POCT) for gonorrhoea as a way of extending the life of current last-line treatments. The introduction of AMR POCT could allow clinicians to discern between the majority of gonorrhoea-positive patients with strains that could be treated with older, previously abandoned first-line treatments, and those requiring our current last-line dual therapy. Such tests could extend the useful life of dual ceftriaxone and azithromycin therapy, thus pushing back the time when gonorrhoea may become untreatable.

Publication

Turner KM, Christensen H, Adams EJ, et al Analysis of the potential for point-of-care test to enable individualised treatment of infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant and susceptible strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a modelling study

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Estimating the clinical impact and costs of implementing a point of care test for influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus on an acute paediatric hospital inpatient ward

We explored the impact of introducing a high performance point of care test (POCT) for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) on an acute paediatric ward of a large London hospital during influenza season compared to standard care of using a laboratory-based test. We estimated the outcomes before and after implementing a POCT (Enigma® MiniLab™ FluAB-RSV test) for paediatric patients admitted to an acute respiratory ward in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 respiratory seasons. There was a significant reduction in reimbursement charges for influenza- and RSV-negative patients, for the full hospital stay and the period on the acute paediatric ward after implementing the POCT, however, these differences disappeared when controlling for top-up service charges. More appropriate treatment of patients with influenza occurred after implementing the POCT (40% versus 13% received oseltamivir, p=0.02). There was no difference in length of stay between the two periods. Findings indicate cost savings for commissioners and hospitals, even without a reduction in the length of stay.

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Vecino-Ortiz AI, Glover RE, Douthwaite ST, et al.
Estimating the clinical impact and costs of implementing a point of care test for influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus on an acute paediatric hospital inpatient ward. Society for Medical Decision Making. 12-14 June 2016. London, UK.

 

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A rapid influenza test in hospitals could avoid unnecessary paediatric isolation bed days and save costs

We created a decision tree to estimate the unnecessary isolation days averted by early diagnosis of false positive patients with a point of care test for influenza compared to presumptive isolation and standard laboratory testing (12 versus 2 hours’ time to results). Assuming a 7% prevalence of influenza in a cohort of 300 patients with suspected influenza, average hospital stay of 3 days, and the cost of an isolation bed being 10% more than a ward bed, using a point of care test could avert 80-95% of the unnecessary isolation days, with an associated estimated cost savings of roughly £7000-£9000, depending on if they test were implemented on the ward or in A&E, respectively. Point of care tests could improve bed management and reduce unnecessary isolation days and the associated costs, and reduce hospital transmission of infection.

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Vecino-Ortiz AI, Glover RE, Rabe AJ, et al. A rapid influenza test in hospitals could avoid unnecessary paediatric isolation bed days and save cost. Society for Medical Decision Making. 12-14 June 2016. London, UK.

 

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Performance of a novel point-of-care molecular assay for the detection of Influenza A, B and RSV in children

We assessed the performance of the new point-of-care Enigma® MiniLab™ assay for Influenza A, B and RSV compared to a centralised laboratory respiratory virus panel. The positive per cent agreement was >95% for Influenza B and RSV but was 79.2% (95% CI 57.8-92.9%) for Influenza A, and the negative per cent agreement was >95% for Influenza A and B, and 94.5% (95% CI 91.9-96.4%) for RSV. The turnaround time for the laboratory respiratory virus panel was 24 hours, compared to ~90 minutes for the Enigma® MiniLab™ test.

Publication
Douthwaite ST, Walker C, Adams EJ, et al.
Performance of a novel point-of-care molecular assay for the detection of Influenza A, B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (Enigma® MiniLab™) in children with acute respiratory infection. JCM, online first 11 Nov 2015. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02887-15

 

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Mapping the diagnostic pathway for breast cancer in England and comparison to Europe

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in England and the second most common cause of cancer death. We mapped the breast cancer diagnostic pathway in England and rest of Europe and estimated the number of women transitioning through each step of the pathway, and the number of symptomatic women. We propose a new metric to discuss breast cancer screening, annual effective screening rate, to allow for comparison of the effectiveness of different breast cancer interventions across Europe.

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Adams EJ, Midha D, Glover R,  et al.
Mapping the diagnostic pathway for breast cancer in England and comparison to Europe ISPOR 18th Annual European Congress. 7-11 November 2015. Milan, Italy.

 

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Thinking critically about the value and cost of drugs: managing patients with invasive fungal disease

We developed a framework to help clinicians and decision-makers think systematically about how to compare patient management options whilst considering the full costs to the healthcare provider, and a toolkit based on this framework for patients with invasive fungal infection in England. Adopting this framework can help healthcare providers move towards a more holistic understanding of drug treatment and management costs that may help the NHS save money, freeing up resources for better health care.

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Kendall E, Horner J, et al. Thinking critically about the value and cost of drugs: managing patients with invasive fungal disease. ECCMID 2015. 25 – 28 April 2015. Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

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Providing integrated HIV treatment and care for stable patients in general practice

We implemented a nurse-delivered integrated HIV and primary care service pilot study for stable patients in two local inner city general practices. Initial results from the patients in the study indicate that a novel model of HIV care with a greater emphasis on patient convenience appears to have high levels of patient satisfaction and favourable treatment outcomes; further work will analyse the costs and impact of the service.

presentation_iconAlexander H, Richards P, Brady M, et al. Providing integrated HIV treatment and care for stable patients in general practice. 21st Annual Conference of the British HIV Association. 21 – 24 April 2015, Brighton, UK

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Estimating the true costs of splitting HIV antiretroviral drugs

Problem: A regional UK commissioning decision in 2010 mandated that when the component drugs of Combivir—a combination therapy for HIV—come off patent, doctors must prescribe the individual drugs instead. This was driven by a perception that the generic component drugs are cheaper in the immediate-term and so more efficient overall. As our pharmaceutical client’s HIV combination drug was soon to come off patent, they wanted to help commissioners understand the full healthcare costs of such a policy, to inform future decisions.

 Approach: We worked with our client and clinicians in Nottingham University Hospital’s HIV clinic who had patient-level care data before and after the commissioning change. We planned the analysis and identified which costs would be used and which data were required.

 Impact: Our work contributes to the evidence-base of the costs of prescribing patients a single dose therapy over multiple doses. It has changed people’s perceptions of the costs of treating long-term conditions with combination drugs, and helped commissioners to make policy decisions about mandating use of particular drugs without taking a holistic view of healthcare.

 

Testimonial

“Aquarius provided a professional yet personal level of support with our project. We found the statistical support invaluable, and felt that they went the extra mile to ensure the project went smoothly and on time.”

  • Dr Ruth Taylor, Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Related publications

 publication_iconTaylor R, Carlin E, Sadique Z, Ahmed I, Adams EJ. The financial and service implications of splitting fixed-dose antiretroviral drugs – a case study. Accepted Mar 2014, Int J STD AIDS

 

Understanding Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis patient care delivery and costs

Problem: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic condition, often with poor prognosis. Although there are NICE guidelines for managing IPF patients, care has varied across England; it has depended on how a clinic’s services are set up and what local resources are available. Our clients wanted to support local specialist centres as they document how their clinics managed IPF patients, how local pathways varied from the NICE benchmark care, and estimate affordability of providing care to patients.

Approach: We generated a gold-standard benchmark pathway for IPF patients based on the NICE guidelines and published literature using our pathway mapping tool, Dots. With our client we designed and conducted structured interviews with clinicians and service managers to explore how their IPF patients are managed and map out local pathways and resource use. Finally, we estimated the costs of care and compared it to our benchmark national pathway using the Dots.

Impact: All of the clinics were given their results so they could understand how their IPF pathways compared to the benchmark and to other clinics, both clinically and in cost-wise. It is anticipated that results could inform the development of a national tariff, as the estimated costs of providing care was over 40% more than currently reimbursed.

 

Related publications


presentation_iconHill C, Nasr R, Fisher MI, et. al. 
Estimated cost and payment by results (PBR) tariff reimbursement for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis services across 14 specialist providers in England. British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting, London UK. 5th December 2014 MRC-2731