Budget impact analysis of providing hospital inpatient care at home virtually, starting with two specific surgical patient groups

Guido M. Peters, Carine J.M. Doggen, Wim H. Van Harten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective To determine the budget impact of virtual care. Methods We conducted a budget impact analysis of virtual care from the perspective of a large teaching hospital in the Netherlands. Virtual care included remote monitoring of vital signs and three daily remote contacts. Net budget impact over 5 years and net costs per patient per day (costs/patient/day) were calculated for different scenarios: implementation in one ward, in two different wards, in the entire hospital, and in multiple hospitals. Sensitivity analyses included best-case and worst-case scenarios, and reducing the frequency of daily remote contacts. Results Net budget impact over 5 years was €2 090 000 for implementation in one ward, €410 000 for two wards and €-6 206 000 for the entire hospital. Costs/patient/day in the first year were €303 for implementation in one ward, €94 for two wards and €11 for the entire hospital, decreasing in subsequent years to a mean of €259 (SD=€72), €17 (SD=€10) and €-55 (SD=€44), respectively. Projecting implementation in every Dutch hospital resulted in a net budget impact over 5 years of €-445 698 500. For this scenario, costs/patient/day decreased to €-37 in the first year, and to €54 in subsequent years in the base case. Conclusions With present cost levels, virtual care only saves money if it is deployed at sufficient scale or if it can be designed such that the active involvement of health professionals is minimised. Taking a greenfield approach, involving larger numbers of hospitals, further decreases costs compared with implementing virtual care in one hospital alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere051833
JournalBMJ open
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • health economics
  • health services administration & management
  • telemedicine

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