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Estimating Costs of an Implementation Intervention.

Wagner TH, Yoon J, Jacobs JC, So A, Kilbourne AM, Yu W, Goodrich DE. Estimating Costs of an Implementation Intervention. Medical decision making : an international journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making. 2020 Nov 1; 40(8):959-967.

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Health care systems frequently have to decide whether to implement interventions designed to reduce gaps in the quality of care. A lack of information on the cost of these interventions is often cited as a barrier to implementation. In this article, we describe methods for estimating the cost of implementing a complex intervention. We review methods related to the direct measurement of labor, supplies and space, information technology, and research costs. We also discuss several issues that affect cost estimates in implementation studies, including factor prices, fidelity, efficiency and scale of production, distribution, and sunk costs. We examine case studies for stroke and depression, where evidence-based treatments exist and yet gaps in the quality of care remain. Understanding the costs for implementing strategies to reduce these gaps and measuring them consistently will better inform decision makers about an intervention's likely effect on their budget and the expected costs to implement new interventions.

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