Phone Intervention Cost-Effective for Glycemic Control

Modest cost to achieve small decrease in hemoglobin A1c; more costly to achieve goal of <7 percent

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The incremental per capita costs of a telephone-based intervention that moderately improves glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes are modest, according to a study published online July 30 in Diabetes Care.

Clyde B. Schechter, M.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues calculated the cost-effectiveness of a telephone-based behavioral intervention provided by health educators to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes and compared it to an active control (print) intervention.

The researchers found that, for a mean 0.36 percentage point improvement of hemoglobin A1c (A1C), the intervention cost was $176.61 per person in the telephone group. For each incremental percentage point of A1C improvement, the cost-effectiveness ratio was $490.58, while the per-person incremental cost ratio for achieving an A1C of <7 percent over the one-year intervention was $2,617.35. The median of per capita cost was $175.82; the cost per percentage point reduction in A1C was $487.75; and the cost per person achieving the A1C goal was $2,312.88.

"The costs of a telephonic intervention for diabetes self-management support are moderate and commensurate to the modest associated improvement in glycemic control," the authors write.

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