Study Objectives: The growing recognition of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a serious health condition, increasing waiting lists for sleep tests, and a high proportion of unnecessary referrals from general practice highlight the need for alternative diagnostic strategies for OSA. This study's objective was to investigate the cost-effectiveness of DiagnOSAS, a screening tool that strives to facilitate fast and well-informed referral to hospitals and sleep clinics for diagnosis, in The Netherlands.
Methods: A Markov model was constructed to assess cost-effectiveness in men aged 50 years. The diagnostic process of OSA was simulated with and without DiagnOSAS, taking into account the occurrence of hazardous OSA effects: car accidents, myocardial infarction, and stroke. The cost-effectiveness of “DiagnOSAS Strategy” and a “Rapid Diagnosis Scenario,” in which time to diagnosis was halved, was assessed.
Results: Base case results show that, within a 10-year time period, DiagnOSAS saves €226 per patient at a negligible decrease (< 0.01) in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €56,997/QALY. The “Rapid Diagnosis Scenario” dominates usual care (ie, is both cheaper and more effective). For a willingness-to-pay threshold of €20,000/QALY the probability that the “DiagnOSAS Strategy” and “Rapid Diagnosis Scenario” are cost-effective equals 91.7% and 99.3%, respectively.
Conclusions: DiagnOSAS appears to be a cost-saving alternative for the usual OSA diagnostic strategy in The Netherlands. When DiagnOSAS succeeds in decreasing time to diagnosis, it could substantially improve health outcomes as well.
- Cost-utility analysis
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea screening
- Cost-effectiveness analysis