Objectives: The University of Minnesota has maintained a home monitoring program for over 10 years for lung and heart–lung transplant patients. A cost analysis was completed to assess the impact of home monitoring on the cost of post-transplant medical care.
Methods: Clinical information gathered with the monitoring system includes spirometry, vital signs, and symptom data. To estimate the impact of this system on medical costs, we completed a retrospective analysis of the effects of home monitoring on the cost of post-lung transplant medical care. The cost analysis used multivariate linear regression with inpatient, outpatient, and total medical care costs as the dependent variables. The independent variables for the regression include home monitoring adherence, underlying disease, ambulatory diagnostic group mapping variables, transplant type, and patient demographics.
Results: The multivariate regression of the overall cost results predicts a 52.4 percent reduction in total costs with 100 percent patient adherence; this rate includes a 72.24 percent reduction in inpatient costs and a 46.6 percent increase in outpatient costs. The actual first year average patient adherence was 74 percent.
Conclusions: Adherence to home monitoring increases outpatient costs and reduces inpatient costs and provides an overall cost savings. The break-even point for patient adherence was 25.28 percent, where the net savings covered the cost of home monitoring. This is well within the actual first year adherence rates (74 percent) for subjects in the lung transplant home monitoring program, providing a net savings with adherence to home monitoring.