Operational Modeling with Health Economics to Support Decision Making for COPD Patients
Objective: To assess the impact of interventions for improving the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), specifically increased use of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) on patient outcomes and cost-benefit analysis. Data sources: We used the national Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) datasets in England, local data and experts from the hospital setting, National Prices and National Tariffs, reports and the literature around the effectiveness of PR programmes. Study Design: The COPD pathway was modelled using discrete event simulation (DES) to capture the patient pathway to an adequate level of detail as well as randomness in the real world. DES was further enhanced by the integration of a health economic model to calculate the net benefit and cost of treating COPD patients based on key sets of interventions. Data Collection/Extraction methods: A total of 150 input parameters and 75 distributions were established to power the model using the HES dataset, outpatient activity data from the hospital and community services, and the literature. Principal Findings: The simulation model showed that increasing referral to PR (by 10%, 20%, or 30%) would be cost-effective (with a benefit-cost ratio of 5.81, 5.95, 5.91, respectively) by having a positive impact on patient outcomes and operational metrics. Number of deaths, admissions and bed days decreased (i.e. by 3.56 patients, 4.90 admissions, 137.31 bed days for a 30% increase in PR referrals) as well as quality of life increased (i.e. by 5.53 QALY among 1540 patients for the 30% increase). Conclusions: No operational model, either statistical or simulation, has previously been developed to capture the COPD patient pathway within a hospital setting. To date, no model has investigated the impact of PR on COPD services, such as operations, key performance, patient outcomes and cost-benefit analysis. The study will support policies around extending availability of PR as a major intervention.