1) to analyse the total average healthcare costs of a patient with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), as well as estimating the operational costs of the citizen-rescuer system (CRS);
2) to conduct an early modelling of the effects and healthcare costs of the Dutch CRS in comparison to no CRS.
A health economic modelling study was conducted. Adult patients with OHCA from cardiac causes in the province of Limburg (the Netherlands) were included. The time horizon was from OHCA occurrence up to one year after hospital discharge. First, the total average healthcare costs of OHCA patients were analysed as well as the yearly operating costs of the CRS. Second, an early modelling was conducted to compare from the healthcare perspective the healthcare costs of OHCA patients with the CRS being activated but no responders attended (CRS-NV) versus the CRS being activated with attendance of ≥1 responder(s) (CRS-V).
The total average healthcare costs per patient are €42,533. The yearly operating costs for the CRS are approximately €1.5 million per year in the Netherlands. The early modelling of costs and effects showed that the incremental healthcare costs per patient thus were €4,131 in the CRS-V versus the CRS-NV group (€25,184 in the CRS-V group and €21,053 in the CRS-NV group). Incremental quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) was 5 per 100 patients (16 per 100 patients in the CRS-V group versus 11 per 100 patients in the CRS-NV group). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was €79,662 per QALY for the CRS-V group.
This study shows that patients in the CSR-V group had additional health care costs of €4,131 per patient compared to patients in the CRS-NV group. This increase is caused by patients surviving more often, who then continue to utilise health services, which results in a (logic) increase in healthcare costs. For future research, accurate and up-to-date data on effectiveness and costs of the CRS needs to be collected.