Costs of stroke and stroke services: Determinants of patient costs and a comparison of costs of regular care and care organised in stroke services
1 Institute for Medical Technology Assessment (iMTA), Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2 Department of Health Policy and Management (iBMG), Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
3 Department of Cardiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 2003, 1:2 doi:10.1186/1478-7547-1-2Published: 26 February 2003
Stroke is a major cause of death and long-term disability in Western societies and constitutes a major claim on health care budgets. Organising stroke care in a stroke service has recently been demonstrated to result in better health effects for patients. This paper discusses patient costs after stroke and compares costs between regular and stroke service care.
Costs were calculated within the framework of the evaluation of three experiments with stroke services in the Netherlands. Cost calculations are base on medical consumption data and actual costs.
598 patients were consecutively admitted to hospital after stroke. The average total costs of care per patient for the 6 month follow-up are estimated at €16,000. Costs are dominated by institutional and accommodation costs. Patients who die after stroke incur less costs. For patients that survive the acute phase, the most important determinants of costs are disability status and having a partner – as they influence patients' stroke careers. These determinants also interact. The most efficient stroke service experiment was most successful in co-ordinating patient flow from hospital to (nursing) home, through capacity planning and efficient discharge procedures. In this region the costs of stroke service care are the same as for regular stroke care. The other experiments suffered from waiting lists for nursing homes and home care, leading to "blocked beds" in hospitals and nursing homes and higher costs of care. Costs of co-ordination are estimated at about 3% of total costs of care.
This paper demonstrates that by organising care for stroke patients in a stroke service, better health effects can be achieved with the same budget. In addition, it provides insight in need, predisposing and enabling factors that determine costs of care after stroke.