Ruling out cardiac failure: Cost-benefit analysis of a sequential testing strategy with NT-proBNP before echocardiography
Objectives. To estimate the possible economic benefit of a sequential testing strategy with NT-proBNP to reduce the number of echocardiographies.
Methods. Retrospective study in a third-party payer perspective. The costs were calculated from three Swedish counties: Blekinge, Östergötland, and Uppland. Two cut-off levels of NT-proBNP were used: 400 and 300 pg/mL. The costeffectiveness of the testing strategy was estimated through the short-term cost avoidance and reduction in demand for echocardiographies.
Results. The estimated costs for NT-proBNP tests and echocardiographies per county were reduced by 33%–36% with the 400 pg/mL cut-off and by 28%–29% with the 300 pg/mL cut-off. This corresponded to a yearly cost reduction of approximately e2–5 million per million inhabitants in these counties.
Conclusion. The use of NT-proBNP as a screening test could substantially reduce the number of echocardiographies in the diagnostic work-up of patients with suspected cardiac failure, as well as the associated costs.
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