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Health Economics of Frailty

We aim to develop and test a frailty health economics model. This model will be made available to policy makers and funders, ensuring that future funding decisions will be based on economics modeling that better account for the impact of frailty.

  • Health Economics Project 1 -Developing a Frailty Economics Model

    Lead Investigator: Professor Jon Karnon

    As we learn more about frailty, funds will be required to provide effective services that are developed to delay or manage the effects of frailty. To make the case for the required funds where the overall budget situation is ‘tight’, it will be necessary to demonstrate that these services provide value for money compared to competing calls on limited healthcare budgets.

    Cost-effectiveness models are routinely used to demonstrate the value of patented technologies, but less so for the non-patented services of the type that may most effectively target frailty.

    In this project, we will develop a ‘world first’ cost-effectiveness model that will describe the extended cost savings and health benefits of frailty interventions in an Australian setting. This use of the model to evaluate frailty interventions will support stronger cases to be made for the funding of new services and interventions to either prevent or better manage frailty.

     Progress To Date: A cost-effectiveness model has been developed. A manuscript describing the development and validation of the model is currently under review with the journal Medical Decision Making Policy and Practice. Next steps include the development and validation of alternative (more complicated) cost-effectiveness model structures to ensure that the best possible model is used to assess the value of frailty services.

    Media Contact: Professor Jon Karnon

  • Health Economics Project 2 - Observed &Predicted Data Outcomes from FIT (Frailty Intervention Trial)

    Lead Investigators: Professors Jon Karnon and Ian Cameron

    The Frailty Intervention Trial was an early and important Australian randomized controlled trial that demonstrated the effectiveness of a flexible intervention that targeted the specific needs of frail individuals discharged from hospitals and specialized geriatrics or rehabilitation programs.

    The trial showed that the intervention reduced frailty in this population, but was not able to demonstrate value for money over the 1-year duration of the trial.

    The cost-effectiveness model developed in Health Economics Project 1 will be used to predict longer-term cost savings and health benefits based on the differences observed within the trial. The FIT will test the validity of the cost-effectiveness model and demonstrate the use of the model to support applications for service funding.

    Progress To Date: The developed cost-effectiveness model was used to analyse the long-term cost-effectiveness of the Frailty Intervention. The analysis showed that the expected value of the intervention is very high, though there remains some uncertainty due to the size of the original clinical trial. The results are included in the manuscript submitted to Medical Decision Making Policy and Practice.

    Media Contact: Professor Jon Karnon

Centre of Research Excellence in
Frailty and Healthy Ageing



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