Cost of heart failure management in Turkey: results of a Delphi Panel
Yilmaz, Mehmet Birhan
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Objective: To analyze health-related cost of heart failure (HF) and to evaluate health-related source utilization aiming to provide data on the economic burden of HF in actual clinical practice in Turkey. Methods: The study used the Delphi process of seeking expert consensus of opinion including 11 cardiologists who are experienced in HF. The standardized questionnaire comprised items to reflect the opinion of the expert panelists on the distribution of the HF patients in terms of demographic and clinical characteristics and background disease states. Costs related to out-patient follow-up, in-patient follow-up, medications, and other therapies were also evaluated. Results: 34.1% of the HF patients were in the age range of 60-69 years, and 62.3% were males. Coronary heart disease was the leading cause of HF (59.6%); 63.6% of the HF patients had reduced ejection fraction (rEF) and 42.3% were in New York Heart Association (NYHA)-II class. Approximately 75 % of the patients were followed up by a cardiology unit. The total annual visit number was estimated as 3.41. Approximately 32% of HF patients were hospitalized 1.64 times a year, for an average of 6.77 days each time. The total annual costs of all HF patients and HF-rEF patients were estimated as 1.537 TL and as 2.141 TL, respectively. Conclusion: The analysis demonstrating the magnitude of the economic impact of HF management on Turkey's healthcare system may help facilitate health and social policy interventions to improve the prevention and treatment of HF.