Document Detail

Chronic venous insufficiency: the effects of health-care reforms on the cost of treatment and hospitalisation--an Italian perspective.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14687448     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the evolution of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)-related costs in Italy over 8 years by focusing on the impact of the Italian health-care reforms (drug de-reimbursement) of 1993-94.
RESEARCH AND DESIGN METHODS: The global cost of CVI to the Italian health system (Sistema Sanitario Nazionale, SSN) was divided into three sub-costs: hospitalisation, GP consultation and prescription costs. Indirect costs, such as loss of working days, were not included. CVI-related hospitalisation costs included inpatient treatment for varicose veins, venous leg ulcers and other venous disorders. They were calculated using the US-derived system, Diagnosis Related Group (DRG), used in Italian hospitals. Calculations for the whole country were based on figures determined for the Lombardy region and extrapolated. It was considered reasonable to assume that this region was representative of the whole of Italy. CVI-related GP consultation and prescription costs were derived from Intercontinental Medical Statistics (IMS) data. These costs, pre- and post-reforms, were determined and compared to evaluate the impact of the reforms on CVI-related expenditure.
RESULTS: Pre-reforms CVI-related costs analysis (1991): hospitalisations, 210 million Euro; GP consultations, 35.4 million Euro; prescriptions,115 million Euro . The total CVI-related direct costs (i.e. CVI diagnosis and management) were 360.4 million Euro. Post-reforms CVI-related costs analysis (1999): hospitalisations, 288 million Euro; GP consultations, 13 million Euro; prescriptions, 83 million Euro . The total CVI-related direct costs were 384 million Euro. Hospitalisation costs increased predominantly due to an increase in hospitalised patients. GP consultation and prescription costs decreased predominantly due to drug de-listing. The 23.6 million Euro increase in CVI management expense, post-reforms, was due to cost-redistribution from prescriptions and GP consultations to hospitalisations.
CONCLUSION: Short-term goals were achieved by the reforms, but long-term expectations were not. Drug de-reimbursement reduced both drug costs for the SSN and the number of GP consultations. Fewer patients were treated overall (mostly with advanced disease), with consequent disease worsening and increase in complications. An increase in CVI-related hospitalisation resulted. In contrast, preventative measures, including patient education and prophylactic treatment, exhibit both clinical and cost effectiveness. Larger studies are required to confirm these preliminary results.
C Allegra
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current medical research and opinion     Volume:  19     ISSN:  0300-7995     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Med Res Opin     Publication Date:  2003  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-12-22     Completed Date:  2004-08-30     Revised Date:  2012-09-10    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0351014     Medline TA:  Curr Med Res Opin     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  761-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Professor of Microcirculation, School of Specialization in Vascular Surgery, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Chronic Disease
Cost of Illness*
Drug Prescriptions / economics,  statistics & numerical data
Health Care Costs / trends*
Health Care Reform / trends*
Hospitalization / economics*
Italy / epidemiology
Patient Education as Topic
Quality of Life
Referral and Consultation / economics,  statistics & numerical data
Venous Insufficiency / drug therapy,  economics*,  epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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