Cost-effectiveness of home-based care of febrile neutropenia in children with cancer.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Pediatr Blood Cancer, 2021, pp. e29469
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INTRODUCTION: Home-based treatment of febrile neutropenia (FN) in children with cancer with oral or intravenous antibiotics is safe and effective. There are limited data on the economic impact of this model of care. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of implementing an FN programme, incorporating home-based intravenous antibiotics for carefully selected patients, in a tertiary paediatric hospital. METHODS: A decision analytic model was constructed to compare costs and outcomes of the home-based FN programme, with usual in-hospital treatment with intravenous antibiotics. The programme included a clinical decision rule to stratify patients by risk for severe infection and home-based eligibility criteria using disease, chemotherapy and patient-level factors. Health outcomes (quality of life) and probabilities of FN risk classification and home-based eligibility were based on prospectively collected data between 2017 and 2019. Patient-level costs were extracted from hospital administrative records. Cost-effectiveness was expressed as the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). FINDINGS: The mean health care cost of home-based FN treatment in low-risk patients was Australian dollars (A$) 7765 per patient compared to A$20,396 for in-hospital treatment (mean difference A$12,632 [95% CI: 12,496-12,767]). Overall, the home-based FN programme was the dominant strategy, being more effective (0.0011 QALY [95% CI: 0.0011-0.0012]) and less costly. Results of the model were most sensitive to proportion of children eligible for home-based care programme. CONCLUSION: Compared to in-hospital FN care, the home-based FN programme is cost-effective, with savings arising from cheaper cost of caring for children at home. These savings could increase as more patients eligible for home-based care are included in the programme.
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