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Economic and social impact of increased cardiac rehabilitation uptake and cardiac telerehabilitation in Belgium - a cost-benefit analysis.

Abstract

Compared to the current situation, there was a net total monetised benefit of 9.18 M€ and 9.10 M€ for scenarios one and two, respectively. Disability Adjusted Life Years were 12,805-12,980 years lower than the current situation. This resulted in a benefit-cost ratio of 1.52 and 1.43 for scenarios one and two, respectively.

Cost-benefit analysis was conducted to analyse three scenarios: (1) current situation: 20% uptake rate of cardiac rehabilitation; (2) alternative scenario one: 40% uptake rate of cardiac rehabilitation; and (3) alternative scenario two: 20% uptake of cardiac rehabilitation and 20% uptake of both cardiac rehabilitation and telerehabilitation. Impacts considered included cardiac (tele)rehabilitation programme costs, direct inpatient costs, productivity losses and burden of disease.

Cardiac rehabilitation for ischaemic heart disease effectively reduces cardiovascular readmission rate and mortality. Current uptake rates however, remain low. This study assesses the social and economic impact of increasing centre-based cardiac rehabilitation uptake and the additional value of cardiac telerehabilitation using cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in Belgium.

Increased cardiac rehabilitation uptake rates can reduce the burden of disease, and the resulting benefits exceed its costs. This research supports the necessity for greater promotion and routine referral to cardiac rehabilitation to be made standard practice. The implementation of telerehabilitation as an adjunct is to be encouraged, especially for those patients unable to attend centre-based cardiac rehabilitation.

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