To assess the cost‐effectiveness of Embrace, an integrated primary care service for older adults.
Care and support claims from health care insurers, long‐term care administration, and municipalities for enrolled older adults between 2011 and 2013.
A total of 1,456 older adults, listed with 15 general practitioners practices in the Netherlands, were stratified into risk profiles (“Robust,” “Frail,” and “Complex care needs”) and randomized to Embrace or care‐as‐usual groups. Incremental costs were calculated per quality‐adjusted life year, per day able to age in place, and per percentage point risk profile improvement.
Total average costs were higher for Embrace compared to care‐as‐usual. Differences in health‐associated outcomes were small and not statistically significant. Probabilities that Embrace is cost‐effective were below 80 percent, except for “risk profile improvements” within risk profile “Complex care needs.” Complete case analysis resulted in smaller differences in total average costs across conditions and differences in health‐associated outcomes remained small.
According to current standards, Embrace is not considered cost effective after 12 months. However, it could be considered worthwhile in terms of “risk profile improvements” for older adults with “Complex care needs,” if society is willing to invest substantially.