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Economic and clinical benefits of endometrial radiofrequency ablation compared with other ablation techniques in women with menorrhagia: a retrospective analysis with German health claims data

Authors Bischoff-Everding C, Soeder R, Neukirch B

Received 29 May 2015

Accepted for publication 20 October 2015

Published 18 January 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 23—29


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Christoph Bischoff-Everding,1 Ruediger Soeder,2 Benno Neukirch3

1HGC GesundheitsConsult GmbH, Duesseldorf, Germany; 2Gynecological Joint Practice, Mainz, Germany; 3Faculty of Health Care, Hochschule Niederrhein – University of Applied Sciences, Krefeld, Germany

Objective: To evaluate the economic and clinical benefits of endometrial radiofrequency ablation (RFA) compared with other ablation techniques for the treatment of menorrhagia.
Methods: Using German health claims data, women meeting defined inclusion criteria for the intervention group (RFA) were selected. A comparable control group (other endometrial ablations) was established using propensity score matching. These two groups were compared during the quarter of treatment (QoT) and a follow-up of 2 years for the following outcomes: costs during QoT and during follow-up, repeated menorrhagia diagnoses during follow-up and necessary retreatments during follow-up.
Results: After performing propensity score matching, 50 cases could be allocated to the intervention group, while 38 were identified as control cases. Patients in the RFA group had 5% fewer repeat menorrhagia diagnoses (40% vs 45%; not significant) and 5% fewer treatments associated with recurrent menorrhagia (6% vs 11%; not significant) than cases in the control group. During the QoT, the RFA group incurred €578 additional costs (€2,068 vs €1,490; ns). However, during follow-up, the control group incurred €1,254 additional costs (€4,561 vs €5,815; ns), with medication, outpatient physician consultations, and hospitals costs being the main cost drivers. However, none of the results were statistically significant.
Conclusion: Although RFA was more cost-intensive in the QoT compared with other endometrial ablation techniques, an average total savings of €676 was generated during the follow-up period. While having evidence that RFA is clinically equivalent to other endometrial ablation procedures, we generated indications that RFA is non-inferior and favorable with regard to economic outcomes.

Keywords: menorrhagia, radiofrequency ablation, endometrial ablation, costs, Germany, health claims data

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