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Article

A Cost-Minimization Analysis of a Medical Record-based, Store and Forward and Provider-to-provider Telemedicine Compared to Usual Care in Catalonia: More Agile and Efficient, Especially for Users

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TIC Salut Social, Catalan Ministry of Health, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
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CRES&CEXS, Pompeu Fabra University, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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Faculty of Social Sciences, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, 08242 Manresa, Spain
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Health Promotion in Rural Areas Research Group, Gerència Territorial de la Catalunya Central, Institut Català de la Salut, 08272 Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain
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Unitat de Suport a la Recerca de la Catalunya Central, Fundació Institut Universitari per a la recerca a l’Atenció Primària de Salut Jordi Gol i Gurina, 08272 Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain
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Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, Catalan Ministry of Health, 08950 Barcelona, Spain
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Agency for Healthcare Quality and Evaluation of Catalonia (AQuAS), Catalan Ministry of Health, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2008; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062008
Received: 23 January 2020 / Revised: 16 March 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Public Health: Opportunities and Challenges)
Background: Telemedicine (interconsultation between primary and hospital care teams) has been operating in the counties of Central Catalonia Bages, Moianès and Berguedà since 2011, specializing in teledermatology, teleulcers, teleophthalmology and teleaudiometries. For the period until the end of 2019, a total of 52,198 visits were recorded. Objective: To analyze the differential costs between telemedicine and usual care in a semi-urban environment. Methodology: A cost-minimization evaluation, including direct and indirect costs from a societal perspective, distinguishing healthcare and user’s costs, was carried out over a three-month period. Results: Telemedicine saved € 780,397 over the period analyzed. A differential cost favorable to telemedicine of about € 15 per visit was observed, with the patient being the largest beneficiary of this saving (by 85%) in terms of shorter waiting times and travel costs. From the healthcare system perspective, moving the time spent in a hospital care consultation to primary care is efficient in terms of the total time devoted per patient. In social terms and in this context, telemedicine is more efficient than usual care. Conclusion: Allowing users to save time in terms of consultation and travel is the main driver of interconsultation between primary and hospital care savings in a semi-urban context. The telemedicine service is also economically favorable for the healthcare system, enabling it to provide a more agile service, which also benefits healthcare professionals. View Full-Text
Keywords: cost analysis; health technology assessment; provider-to-provider telemedicine; telehealth; economic analysis cost analysis; health technology assessment; provider-to-provider telemedicine; telehealth; economic analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

López Seguí, F.; Franch Parella, J.; Gironès García, X.; Mendioroz Peña, J.; García Cuyàs, F.; Adroher Mas, C.; García-Altés, A.; Vidal-Alaball, J. A Cost-Minimization Analysis of a Medical Record-based, Store and Forward and Provider-to-provider Telemedicine Compared to Usual Care in Catalonia: More Agile and Efficient, Especially for Users. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2008. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062008

AMA Style

López Seguí F, Franch Parella J, Gironès García X, Mendioroz Peña J, García Cuyàs F, Adroher Mas C, García-Altés A, Vidal-Alaball J. A Cost-Minimization Analysis of a Medical Record-based, Store and Forward and Provider-to-provider Telemedicine Compared to Usual Care in Catalonia: More Agile and Efficient, Especially for Users. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(6):2008. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062008

Chicago/Turabian Style

López Seguí, Francesc; Franch Parella, Jordi; Gironès García, Xavier; Mendioroz Peña, Jacobo; García Cuyàs, Francesc; Adroher Mas, Cristina; García-Altés, Anna; Vidal-Alaball, Josep. 2020. "A Cost-Minimization Analysis of a Medical Record-based, Store and Forward and Provider-to-provider Telemedicine Compared to Usual Care in Catalonia: More Agile and Efficient, Especially for Users" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 6: 2008. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062008

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