Cost-effectiveness of the chronic disease self-management program: implications for community-based organizations.
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Chronic conditions are the leading cause of growing healthcare spending, disability, and death in the U.S. In the wake of national health reform, policy makers and healthcare professionals are becoming increasingly concerned in containing healthcare costs while improving quality of patient care. A basic policy question is whether the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), a widely distributed evidenced-based self-managed program, can be cost-effective in managing chronic conditions while improving quality of life. Utilizing data from the National Study of CDSMP, the primary objective of the current study is to estimate cost-effectiveness of the CDSMP program among individuals with at least one chronic condition. The second objective is to determine how cost-effectiveness ratios vary by depression status. EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) was used to measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of CDSMP participants, which was then converted to quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) for cost-effectiveness analysis. Participants who completed the CDSMP program experienced higher EQ-5D scores from baseline to 12-month follow-up (increased from 0.736 to 0.755; p<0.001). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) ranges from $83,285 to $31,285 per QALYs, which can be comparable to the common benchmark of $50,000/QALYs. ICER by baseline depression status indicates that it will cost more per QALYs gained for those diagnosed with depression based on their Patient Health Questionnaire-8 score. However, cautions should be taken while considering this point estimate too literally because the average cost for CDSMP participants was a rough estimate and based on several simplifying assumptions. Identifying cost-effective strategies that can lower the burden of chronic disease among community-dwelling adults is critical for decision makers in allocating limited resources. Policy makers and community organizations can use this information to guide funding decisions and delivery of CDSMP programs for individuals with multiple chronic health conditions.