Cost–Benefit Analysis of Single versus Repeated Use of Single-Us

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Panagiota Naoum,1 Sotiria Palioura,2 Vasiliki Naoum,1 Nikos Nomikos,1 Konstantina Bachtalia,1 Konstantinos Zisis,1 Kostas Athanasakis,1,3 John Kyriopoulos1

1Institute for Health Economics, Athens, Greece; 2Athens Vision Eye Institute, Athens, Greece; 3Department of Public Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece

Correspondence: Panagiota Naoum
Institute for Health Economics, Aldou Manoutiou 10, Athens, 11521, Greece
Tel +30 210 6455562
Email [email protected]

Purpose: To estimate the net cost effect associated with the real-world practice of repeated use of designated single-use medical devices (SUDs) versus their proper single use in cataract surgery in Greece.
Design: A cost-benefit analysis model was constructed in the form of a decision tree.
Methods: A digital expert panel was assembled in order to estimate the probabilities of intraoperative and postoperative complications associated with single and repeated use of SUDs. Unit costs for the management of each complication were obtained from the official Greek bulletins. A Monte Carlo-type sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the robustness of the results.
Results: Based on the probabilities of complications attained from the expert panel, repeated use of SUDs is associated with a higher chance of complications compared to single use, which results in higher cost of complication management. Under the healthcare sector perspective, the total expected cost per cataract surgery is 1,403.98€ (1,244.20€ the initial cost of cataract surgery plus 159.78€ the cost of adverse events) in the case of single use, while for repeated use the total cost is 1,486.29€ (1,146.86€ + 339.43€, respectively) and, thus, repeated use of SUDs in cataract surgery results in 82.31€ higher expected cost per patient compared to their single use. Moreover, the societal perspective analysis indicated even higher additional costs in the case of SUD reuse (108.24€).
Conclusion: Repeated use of SUDs in cataract surgery is not appropriate, it jeopardizes patient safety and carries a legal liability for the reuser. The present study, which is the first to attach a monetary value to the common yet questionable practice of SUD reuse, shows that it is not cost beneficial. Therefore, it is expected that the results will have implications in policy formulations to improve the delivery of cataract healthcare.

Keywords: cataract, cataract surgery, single-use devices, SUDs

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