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J Crit Care. 2011 Jun;26(3):329.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2010.12.004. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Costs and cost-effectiveness of a telemedicine intensive care unit program in 6 intensive care units in a large health care system.

Author information

  • 1The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Houston, TX 77030, USA. luisa.franzini@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study is to estimate the costs and cost-effectiveness of a telemedicine intensive care unit (ICU) (tele-ICU) program.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We used an observational study with ICU patients cared for during the pre-tele-ICU period and ICU patients cared for during the post-tele-ICU period in 6 ICUs at 5 hospitals that are part of a large nonprofit health care system in the Gulf Coast region. We obtained data on a sample of 4142 ICU patients: 2034 in the pre-tele-ICU period and 2108 in the post-tele-ICU period. Economic outcomes were hospital costs, ICU costs and floor costs, measured for average daily costs, costs per case, and costs per patient.

RESULTS:

After the implementation of the tele-ICU, the hospital daily cost increased from $4302 to $5340 (24%); the hospital cost per case, from $21,967 to $31,318 (43%); and the cost per patient, from $20,231 to $25,846 (28%). Although the tele-ICU intervention was not cost-effective in patients with Simplified Acute Physiology Score II 50 or less, it was cost-effective in the sickest patients with Simplified Acute Physiology Score II more than 50 (17% of patients) because it decreased hospital mortality without increasing costs significantly.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hospital administrators may conclude that a tele-ICU program aimed at the sickest patients is cost-effective.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21376515
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3103644
Free PMC Article
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