Cost Analysis

Respiratory illness persistently consumes a major proportion of U.S. healthcare dollars. A recent sharp increase in the prevalence, severity and mortality of chronic respiratory conditions is cause for heightened concern. Appropriate use of airway clearance therapies including high frequency chest compression (HFCC)/high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) may yield significant reductions in annual care costs.

  1. Chiappetta A, Mendendez A, Gozal D, Kiernan M. High-frequency chest wall oscillation in hospitalized non-cystic fibrosis patients. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996; 153:A566.
A retrospective medical chart review of 300 hospitalized non-cystic fibrosis patients (diagnoses unspecified) receiving professionally administered percussion and postural drainage (P&PD) treatments for secretion clearance found that a significant proportion of those costly treatments could have been effectively replaced with high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO), thus providing a substantial savings in professional time, effort, and costs.
  2. Klous DR, Boyle M, Hazelwood A, McComb RC. Chest vest & CF: Better care for patients. Adv Mgrs Respir Care 1993; 2(3):45-50.
This early report (1993) by respiratory care managers includes a six month cost/benefit of high frequency chest compression (HFCC)/high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy in the in-patient setting. Using departmental quality assurance data, the mean number and session times of standard chest physiotherapy (CPT) were compared with the HFCC/HFCWO then being used for 55% of cystic fibrosis (CF) in-patients. Data analysis showed that by replacing 600 CPT treatments per month with HFCC/HFCWO, staff time savings of 236 hours would translate into a labor displacement of 2.85 full time equivalencies. (FTE). Advantages of HFCC/HFCWO included perceived effectiveness, patient satisfaction and increased ability of users to self-manage their CF.
  3. Ohnsorg F. A cost analysis of high-frequency chest-wall oscillation in cystic fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1994; 149(4 pt.):A669.

    BlueCross and BlueShield of Minnesota (BCBS/MN) conducted this retrospective record review of 23 cystic fibrosis (CF) clients to assess the impact of high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy on total healthcare expenditures. Respiratory-illness related costs incurred during one year of HFCWO treatment, including the cost of the device itself, were compared with costs for the previous year. Data showed an aggregate reduction of 49% in total direct respiratory care costs during the year of HFCWO use.

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