Background The incidence of keratinocyte carcinomas is high and rapidly growing. Approximately 80% of keratinocyte carcinomas consist of basal cell carcinomas (BCC) with 50% of these being considered as low-risk tumors. Nevertheless, 83% of the low-risk BCC patients were found to receive more follow-up care than recommended according to the Dutch BCC guideline, which is one visit post-treatment for this group. More efficient management could reduce unnecessary follow-up care and related costs. Objectives To study the efficacy, cost-utility, and budget impact of a personalized discharge letter for low-risk BCC patients compared with usual care (no personalized letter). Methods In a multi-center intervention study, a personalized discharge letter in addition to usual care was compared to usual care in first-time BCC patients. Model-based cost-utility and budget impact analyses were conducted, using individual patient data gathered via surveys. The outcome measures were number of follow-up visits, costs and quality adjusted life years (QALY) per patient. Results A total of 473 first-time BCC patients were recruited. The personalized discharge letter decreased the number of follow-up visits by 14.8% in the first year. The incremental costs after five years were -24.45 per patient. The QALYs were 4.12 after five years and very similar in both groups. The national budget impact was -2,7 million after five years. Conclusions The distribution of a personalized discharge letter decreases the number of unnecessary follow-up visits and implementing the intervention in a large eligible population would results in substantial cost savings, contributing to restraining the growing BCC costs.
This project was funded by Citrienfonds
(Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport,
https://www.citrienfonds.nl/, received by TN) and
VGZ (Health insurance company, https://www.vgz.
nl/, received by EdV). The funders were not
involved in study design, data collection, data
analysis, and manuscript preparation.
Publisher Copyright: © 2022 van Egmond et al.