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Head Neck. 2017 Dec;39(12):2470-2480. doi: 10.1002/hed.24916. Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Cost analysis of a speech pathology synchronous telepractice service for patients with head and neck cancer.

Author information

1
Speech Pathology and Audiology Department, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
2
The University of Queensland, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
3
Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
4
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
5
Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Metro South, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
6
Centre for Applied Health Economics, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
7
Central Integrated Regional Cancer Services, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
8
School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
9
Cancer Care Services, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study is to report the economic outcomes of a new synchronous telepractice service providing speech pathology intervention to patients with head and neck cancer at nonmetropolitan facilities.

METHODS:

A multisite randomized controlled trial comparing standard care versus a new synchronous telepractice model was conducted within a large Australian public cancer service. Data pertaining to health service costs (staff wages, equipment, and patient travel reimbursement), patient +/- carer costs (travel and wages), and patient-reported quality of life (Assessment of Quality of Life questionnaire 4D) were collected.

RESULTS:

Eighty-two referrals (39 standard care and 43 synchronous telepractice care) were managed. The new telepractice service reported average cost savings of 12% (P < .0058) for the health service and $40.05 saving per patient per referral. An equivalent positive increase in quality of life (0.04) was reported for both groups.

CONCLUSION:

The synchronous telepractice service provides cost efficiencies over standard care for providing remote specialist speech pathology head and neck cancer intervention.

KEYWORDS:

cost analysis; head and neck cancer; speech pathology; telepractice

PMID:
28963804
DOI:
10.1002/hed.24916
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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