Administrative Appointments

  • Chair, Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2005 - 2007)
  • Director, Health Care Program, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. (1990 - 2009)
  • Director, Center for Health Policy, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University (1997 - 2011)
  • Director, Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University School of Medicine (1997 - 2011)

Honors & Awards

  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. (1986)
  • Fellow, Royal College of Physicians (2010)
  • Member, Institute of Medicine (1998)
  • Member, Association of American Physicians (2003)
  • Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation (1998)
  • Fellow, Association for Health Services Research (AcademyHealth) (1996)
  • Young Investigator Award, Association for Health Services Research (AcademyHealth) (1992)
  • Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2004-2007)

Professional Education

  • A.B., Harvard College, Economics (1976)
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Economics (1982)
  • M.D., Stanford University (1983)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Topics in the health economics of aging; health, insurance; optimal screening intervals; cost-effectiveness of, coronary surgery in the elderly; health care financing and delivery, in the United States and Japan; coronary heart disease


2014-15 Courses


Journal Articles

  • Cost-Effectiveness of Statins for Primary Cardiovascular Prevention in Chronic Kidney Disease JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY Erickson, K. F., Japa, S., Owens, D. K., Chertow, G. M., Garber, A. M., Goldhaber-Fiebert, J. D. 2013; 61 (12): 1250-1258


    The authors sought to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of statins for primary prevention of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).Patients with CKD have an elevated risk of MI and stroke. Although HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors (“statins”) may prevent cardiovascular events in patients with non–dialysis-requiring CKD, adverse drug effects and competing risks could materially influence net effects and clinical decision-making.We developed a decision-analytic model of CKD and cardiovascular disease (CVD) to determine the cost-effectiveness of low-cost generic statins for primary CVD prevention in men and women with hypertension and mild-to-moderate CKD. Outcomes included MI and stroke rates, discounted quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and lifetime costs (2010 USD), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.For 65-year-old men with moderate hypertension and mild-to-moderate CKD, statins reduced the combined rate of MI and stroke, yielded 0.10 QALYs, and increased costs by $1,800 ($18,000 per QALY gained). For patients with lower baseline cardiovascular risks, health and economic benefits were smaller; for 65-year-old women, statins yielded 0.06 QALYs and increased costs by $1,900 ($33,400 per QALY gained). Results were sensitive to rates of rhabdomyolysis and drug costs. Statins are less cost-effective when obtained at average retail prices, particularly in patients at lower CVD risk.Although statins reduce absolute CVD risk in patients with CKD, the increased risk of rhabdomyolysis, and competing risks associated with progressive CKD, partly offset these gains. Low-cost generic statins appear cost-effective for primary prevention of CVD in patients with mild-to-moderate CKD and hypertension.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.12.034

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316751100006

    View details for PubMedID 23500327

  • An economic analysis of conservative management versus active treatment for men with localized prostate cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Monographs Perlroth, D. J., Bhattacharya, J., Goldman, D. P., Garber, A. M. 2012; 2012 (45): 250-257


    Comparative effectiveness research suggests that conservative management (CM) strategies are no less effective than active initial treatment for many men with localized prostate cancer. We estimate longer-term costs of initial management strategies and potential US health expenditure savings by increased use of conservative management for men with localized prostate cancer. Five-year total health expenditures attributed to initial management strategies for localized prostate cancer were calculated using commercial claims data from 1998 to 2006, and savings were estimated from a US population health-care expenditure model. Our analysis finds that patients receiving combinations of active treatments have the highest additional costs over conservative management at $63 500, followed by $48 550 for intensity-modulated radiation therapy, $37 500 for primary androgen deprivation therapy, and $28 600 for brachytherapy. Radical prostatectomy ($15 200) and external beam radiation therapy ($18 900) were associated with the lowest costs. The population model estimated that US health expenditures could be lowered by 1) use of initial CM over all active treatment ($2.9-3.25 billion annual savings), 2) shifting patients receiving intensity-modulated radiation therapy to CM ($680-930 million), 3) foregoing primary androgen deprivation therapy($555 million), 4) reducing the use of adjuvant androgen deprivation in addition to local therapies ($630 million), and 5) using single treatments rather than combination local treatment ($620-655 million). In conclusion, we find that all active treatments are associated with higher longer-term costs than CM. Substantial savings, representing up to 30% of total costs, could be realized by adopting CM strategies, including active surveillance, for initial management of men with localized prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgs037

    View details for PubMedID 23271781

  • Cost-Effectiveness of Early Colectomy With Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastamosis Versus Standard Medical Therapy in Severe Ulcerative Colitis ANNALS OF SURGERY Park, K. T., Tsai, R., Perez, F., Cipriano, L. E., Bass, D., Garber, A. M. 2012; 256 (1): 117-124


    Inflammatory bowel diseases are costly chronic gastrointestinal diseases. We aimed to determine whether immediate colectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastamosis (IPAA) after diagnosis of severe ulcerative colitis (UC) was cost-effective compared to the standard medical therapy.We created a Markov model simulating 2 cohorts of 21-year-old patients with severe UC, following them until 100 years of age or death, comparing early colectomy with IPAA strategy to the standard medical therapy strategy. Deterministic and probabilistic analyses were performed.Standard medical care accrued a discounted lifetime cost of $236,370 per patient. In contrast, early colectomy with IPAA accrued a discounted lifetime cost of $147,763 per patient. Lifetime quality-adjusted life-years gained (QALY-gained) for standard medical therapy was 20.78, while QALY-gained for early colectomy with IPAA was 20.72. The resulting incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (?costs/?QALY) was approximately $1.5 million per QALY-gained. Results were robust to one-way sensitivity analyses for all variables in the model. Quality-of-life after colectomy with IPAA was the most sensitive variable impacting cost-effectiveness. A low utility value of less than 0.7 after colectomy with IPAA was necessary for the colectomy with IPAA strategy to be cost-ineffective.Under the appropriate clinical settings, early colectomy with IPAA after diagnosis of severe UC reduces health care expenditures and provides comparable quality of life compared to exhaustive standard medical therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3182445321

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306083300020

    View details for PubMedID 22270693

  • Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Adjunct VSL#3 Therapy Versus Standard Medical Therapy in Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGY AND NUTRITION Park, K. T., Perez, F., Tsai, R., Honkanen, A., Bass, D., Garber, A. 2011; 53 (5): 489-496


    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are costly chronic gastrointestinal diseases, with pediatric IBD representing increased costs per patient compared to adult disease. Health care expenditures for ulcerative colitis (UC) are >$2 billion annually. It is not clear whether the addition of VSL#3 to standard medical therapy in UC induction and maintenance of remission is a cost-effective strategy.We performed a systematic review of the literature and created a Markov model simulating a cohort of 10-year-old patients with severe UC, studying them until 100 years of age or death. We compared 2 strategies: standard medical therapy versus medical therapy + VSL#3. For both strategies, we assumed that patients progressed through escalating therapies--mesalamine, azathioprine, and infliximab--before receiving a colectomy + ileal pouch anal anastamosis (IPAA) if the 3 medical therapy options were exhausted. The primary outcome measure was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), defined as the difference of costs between strategies for each quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. One-way sensitivity analyses were performed on variables to determine the key variables affecting cost-effectiveness.Standard medical care accrued a lifetime cost of $203,317 per patient, compared to $212,582 per patient for medical therapy + VSL#3. Lifetime QALYs gained was comparable for standard medical therapy and medical therapy + VSL#3 at 24.93 versus 25.05, respectively. Using the definition of ICER <50,000/QALY as a cost-effective intervention, medical therapy + VSL#3 produced an ICER of $79,910 per QALY gained, making this strategy cost-ineffective. Sensitivity analyses showed that 4 key parameters could affect the cost-effectiveness of the 2 strategies: cost of colectomy + IPAA, maintenance cost after surgery, probability of developing pouchitis after surgery, and the quality of life after a colectomy + IPAA. High surgical and postsurgical costs, a high probability of developing pouchitis, and a low quality of life after a colectomy + IPAA could make adjunct VSL#3 use a cost-effective strategy.Given present data, adjunct VSL#3 use for pediatric UC induction and maintenance of remission is not cost-effective, although several key parameters could make this strategy cost-effective. The quality of life after an IPAA is the single most important variable predicting whether this procedure benefits patients over escalating standard medical therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182293a5e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296383000007

    View details for PubMedID 21694634

  • Individualized Cost-Effectiveness Analysis PLOS MEDICINE Ioannidis, J. P., Garber, A. M. 2011; 8 (7)

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001058

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293169700008

    View details for PubMedID 21765810

  • How CER Could Pay for Itself - Insights from Vertebral Fracture Treatments NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Elshaug, A. G., Garber, A. M. 2011; 364 (15): 1390-1393

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289467200003

    View details for PubMedID 21488762

  • Cost-Effectiveness of Dabigatran Compared With Warfarin for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Freeman, J. V., Zhu, R. P., Owens, D. K., Garber, A. M., Hutton, D. W., Go, A. S., Wang, P. J., Turakhia, M. P. 2011; 154 (1): 1-U129


    Warfarin reduces the risk for ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) but increases the risk for hemorrhage. Dabigatran is a fixed-dose, oral direct thrombin inhibitor with similar or reduced rates of ischemic stroke and intracranial hemorrhage in patients with AF compared with those of warfarin.To estimate the quality-adjusted survival, costs, and cost-effectiveness of dabigatran compared with adjusted-dose warfarin for preventing ischemic stroke in patients 65 years or older with nonvalvular AF.Markov decision model.The RE-LY (Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulation Therapy) trial and other published studies of anticoagulation. The cost of dabigatran was estimated on the basis of pricing in the United Kingdom.Patients aged 65 years or older with nonvalvular AF and risk factors for stroke (CHADS? score ?1 or equivalent) and no contraindications to anticoagulation.Lifetime.Societal.Warfarin anticoagulation (target international normalized ratio, 2.0 to 3.0); dabigatran, 110 mg twice daily (low dose); and dabigatran, 150 mg twice daily (high dose).Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs (in 2008 U.S. dollars), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.The quality-adjusted life expectancy was 10.28 QALYs with warfarin, 10.70 QALYs with low-dose dabigatran, and 10.84 QALYs with high-dose dabigatran. Total costs were $143 193 for warfarin, $164 576 for low-dose dabigatran, and $168 398 for high-dose dabigatran. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios compared with warfarin were $51 229 per QALY for low-dose dabigatran and $45 372 per QALY for high-dose dabigatran.The model was sensitive to the cost of dabigatran but was relatively insensitive to other model inputs. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio increased to $50 000 per QALY at a cost of $13.70 per day for high-dose dabigatran but remained less than $85 000 per QALY over the full range of model inputs evaluated. The cost-effectiveness of high-dose dabigatran improved with increasing risk for stroke and intracranial hemorrhage.Event rates were largely derived from a single randomized clinical trial and extrapolated to a 35-year time frame from clinical trials with approximately 2-year follow-up.In patients aged 65 years or older with nonvalvular AF at increased risk for stroke (CHADS? score ?1 or equivalent), dabigatran may be a cost-effective alternative to warfarin depending on pricing in the United States.American Heart Association and Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development Service.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285830900001

    View details for PubMedID 21041570

  • The Role Of Costs In Comparative Effectiveness Research HEALTH AFFAIRS Garber, A. M., Sox, H. C. 2010; 29 (10): 1805-1811


    The major expansion of federal comparative effectiveness research launched in 2009 held the potential to supply the information needed to help slow health spending growth while improving the outcomes of care. However, when Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act one year later, it limited the role of cost analysis in the work sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Despite this restriction, cost-effectiveness analysis meets important needs and is likely to play a larger role in the future. Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, the institute can avoid commissioning cost-effectiveness analyses and still provide information bearing on the use and costs of health care interventions. This information will enable others to investigate the comparative value of these interventions. We argue that doing so is necessary to decision makers who are attempting to raise the quality of care while reining in health spending.

    View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0647

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282513600009

    View details for PubMedID 20921479

  • Incidental Extracardiac Findings at Coronary CT: Clinical and Economic Impact AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ROENTGENOLOGY Lee, C. I., Tsai, E. B., Sigal, B. M., Plevritis, S. K., Garber, A. M., Rubin, G. D. 2010; 194 (6): 1531-1538


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of incidental extracardiac findings on coronary CT, to determine the associated downstream resource utilization, and to estimate additional costs per patient related to the associated diagnostic workup.This retrospective study examined incidental extracardiac findings in 151 consecutive adults (69.5% men and 30.5% women; mean age, 54 years) undergoing coronary CT during a 7-year period. Incidental findings were recorded, and medical records were reviewed for downstream diagnostic examinations for a follow-up period of 1 year (minimum) to 7 years (maximum). Costs of further workup were estimated using 2009 Medicare average reimbursement figures.There were 102 incidental extracardiac findings in 43% (65/151) of patients. Fifty-two percent (53/102) of findings were potentially clinically significant, and 81% (43/53) of these findings were newly discovered. The radiology reports made specific follow-up recommendations for 36% (19/53) of new significant findings. Only 4% (6/151) of patients actually underwent follow-up imaging or intervention for incidental findings. One patient was found to have a malignancy that was subsequently treated. The average direct costs of additional diagnostic workup were $17.42 per patient screened (95% CI, $2.84-$32.00) and $438.39 per patient with imaging follow-up (95% CI, $301.47-$575.31).Coronary CT frequently reveals potentially significant incidental extracardiac abnormalities, yet radiologists recommend further evaluation in only one-third of cases. An even smaller fraction of cases receive further workup. The failure to follow-up abnormal incidental findings may result in missed opportunities to detect early disease, but also limits the short-term attributable costs.

    View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.09.3587

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277948400016

    View details for PubMedID 20489093

  • Population Strategies to Decrease Sodium Intake and the Burden of Cardiovascular Disease A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Smith-Spangler, C. M., Juusola, J. L., Enns, E. A., Owens, D. K., Garber, A. M. 2010; 152 (8): 481-U21


    Sodium consumption raises blood pressure, increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Several countries, including the United States, are considering strategies to decrease population sodium intake.To assess the cost-effectiveness of 2 population strategies to reduce sodium intake: government collaboration with food manufacturers to voluntarily cut sodium in processed foods, modeled on the United Kingdom experience, and a sodium tax.A Markov model was constructed with 4 health states: well, acute myocardial infarction (MI), acute stroke, and history of MI or stroke.Medical Panel Expenditure Survey (2006), Framingham Heart Study (1980 to 2003), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension trial, and other published data.U.S. adults aged 40 to 85 years.Lifetime.Societal.Incremental costs (2008 U.S. dollars), quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and MIs and strokes averted.Collaboration with industry that decreases mean population sodium intake by 9.5% averts 513 885 strokes and 480 358 MIs over the lifetime of adults aged 40 to 85 years who are alive today compared with the status quo, increasing QALYs by 2.1 million and saving $32.1 billion in medical costs. A tax on sodium that decreases population sodium intake by 6% increases QALYs by 1.3 million and saves $22.4 billion over the same period.Results are sensitive to the assumption that consumers have no disutility with modest reductions in sodium intake.Efforts to reduce population sodium intake could result in other dietary changes that are difficult to predict.Strategies to reduce sodium intake on a population level in the United States are likely to substantially reduce stroke and MI incidence, which would save billions of dollars in medical expenses.Department of Veterans Affairs, Stanford University, and National Science Foundation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277054400001

    View details for PubMedID 20194225

  • Modernizing Device Regulation. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Garber, A. M. 2010; 362 (13): 1161-1163

    View details for DOI 10.1056/NEJMp1000447

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276239500001

    View details for PubMedID 20335575

  • A cost-benefit analysis of preimplantation genetic diagnosis for carrier couples of cystic fibrosis FERTILITY AND STERILITY Davis, L. B., Champion, S. J., Fair, S. O., Baker, V. L., Garber, A. M. 2010; 93 (6): 1793-1804


    To perform a cost-benefit analysis of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for carrier couples of cystic fibrosis (CF) compared with the alternative of natural conception (NC) followed by prenatal testing and termination of affected pregnancies.Cost-benefit analysis using a decision analytic model.Outpatient reproductive health practices.A simulated cohort of 1,000 female patients.We calculated the net benefit of giving birth to a child as the present value of lifetime earnings minus lifetime medical costs.Net benefits in dollars.When used for women younger than 35 years of age, the net benefit of PGD over NC was $182,000 ($715,000 vs. $532,000, respectively). For women aged 35-40 years, the net benefit of PGD over NC was $114,000 ($634,000 vs. $520,000, respectively). For women older than 40 years, however, the net benefit of PGD over NC was -$148,000 ($302,000 vs. $450,000, respectively).Preimplantation genetic diagnosis provides net economic benefits when used by carrier couples of CF. Although there is an upper limit of maternal age at which economic benefit can be demonstrated, carrier couples of CF should be offered PGD for prevention of an affected child.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.12.053

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276678100010

    View details for PubMedID 19439290

  • Cost Effectiveness of Alternative Imaging Strategies for the Diagnosis of Small-Bowel Crohn's Disease CLINICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY AND HEPATOLOGY Levesque, B. G., Cipriano, L. E., Chang, S. L., Lee, K. K., Owens, D. K., Garber, A. M. 2010; 8 (3): 261-267


    The cost effectiveness of alternative approaches to the diagnosis of small-bowel Crohn's disease is unknown. This study evaluates whether computed tomographic enterography (CTE) is a cost-effective alternative to small-bowel follow-through (SBFT) and whether capsule endoscopy is a cost-effective third test in patients in whom a high suspicion of disease remains after 2 previous negative tests.A decision-analytic model was developed to compare the lifetime costs and benefits of each diagnostic strategy. Patients were considered with low (20%) and high (75%) pretest probability of small-bowel Crohn's disease. Effectiveness was measured in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. Parameter assumptions were tested with sensitivity analyses.With a moderate to high pretest probability of small-bowel Crohn's disease, and a higher likelihood of isolated jejunal disease, follow-up evaluation with CTE has an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of less than $54,000/QALY-gained compared with SBFT. The addition of capsule endoscopy after ileocolonoscopy and negative CTE or SBFT costs greater than $500,000 per QALY-gained in all scenarios. Results were not sensitive to costs of tests or complications but were sensitive to test accuracies.The cost effectiveness of strategies depends critically on the pretest probability of Crohn's disease and if the terminal ileum is examined at ileocolonoscopy. CTE is a cost-effective alternative to SBFT in patients with moderate to high suspicion of small-bowel Crohn's disease. The addition of capsule endoscopy as a third test is not a cost-effective third test, even in patients with high pretest probability of disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cgh.2009.10.032

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277421200012

    View details for PubMedID 19896559

  • Following Your Heart or Your Head: Focusing on Emotions Versus Information Differentially Influences the Decisions of Younger and Older Adults JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-APPLIED Mikels, J. A., Loeckenhoff, C. E., Maglio, S. J., Carstensen, L. L., Goldstein, M. K., Garber, A. 2010; 16 (1): 87-95


    Research on aging has indicated that whereas deliberative cognitive processes decline with age, emotional processes are relatively spared. To examine the implications of these divergent trajectories in the context of health care choices, we investigated whether instructional manipulations emphasizing a focus on feelings or details would have differential effects on decision quality among younger and older adults. We presented 60 younger and 60 older adults with health care choices that required them to hold in mind and consider multiple pieces of information. Instructional manipulations in the emotion-focus condition asked participants to focus on their emotional reactions to the options, report their feelings about the options, and then make a choice. In the information-focus condition, participants were instructed to focus on the specific attributes, report the details about the options, and then make a choice. In a control condition, no directives were given. Manipulation checks indicated that the instructions were successful in eliciting different modes of processing. Decision quality data indicate that younger adults performed better in the information-focus than in the control condition whereas older adults performed better in the emotion-focus and control conditions than in the information-focus condition. Findings support and extend extant theorizing on aging and decision making as well as suggest that interventions to improve decision-making quality should take the age of the decision maker into account.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0018500

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276369400007

    View details for PubMedID 20350046

  • Health Outcomes and Costs of Community Mitigation Strategies for an Influenza Pandemic in the United States CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES Perlroth, D. J., Glass, R. J., Davey, V. J., Cannon, D., Garber, A. M., Owens, D. K. 2010; 50 (2): 165-174


    The optimal community-level approach to control pandemic influenza is unknown.We estimated the health outcomes and costs of combinations of 4 social distancing strategies and 2 antiviral medication strategies to mitigate an influenza pandemic for a demographically typical US community. We used a social network, agent-based model to estimate strategy effectiveness and an economic model to estimate health resource use and costs. We used data from the literature to estimate clinical outcomes and health care utilization.At 1% influenza mortality, moderate infectivity (R(o) of 2.1 or greater), and 60% population compliance, the preferred strategy is adult and child social distancing, school closure, and antiviral treatment and prophylaxis. This strategy reduces the prevalence of cases in the population from 35% to 10%, averts 2480 cases per 10,000 population, costs $2700 per case averted, and costs $31,300 per quality-adjusted life-year gained, compared with the same strategy without school closure. The addition of school closure to adult and child social distancing and antiviral treatment and prophylaxis, if available, is not cost-effective for viral strains with low infectivity (R(o) of 1.6 and below) and low case fatality rates (below 1%). High population compliance lowers costs to society substantially when the pandemic strain is severe (R(o) of 2.1 or greater).Multilayered mitigation strategies that include adult and child social distancing, use of antivirals, and school closure are cost-effective for a moderate to severe pandemic. Choice of strategy should be driven by the severity of the pandemic, as defined by the case fatality rate and infectivity.

    View details for DOI 10.1086/649867

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273069100003

    View details for PubMedID 20021259



    Comparative effectiveness research (CER) has the potential to slow health care spending growth by focusing resources on health interventions that provide the most value. In this article, we discuss issues surrounding CER and its implementation and apply these methods to a salient clinical example: treatment of prostate cancer. Physicians have several options for treating patients recently diagnosed with localized disease, including removal of the prostate (radical prostatectomy), treatment with radioactive seeds (brachytherapy), radiation therapy (IMRT), or--if none of these are pursued--active surveillance. Using a commercial health insurance claims database and after adjustment for comorbid conditions, we estimate that the additional cost of treatment with radical prostatectomy is $7,300, while other alternatives are more expensive--$19,000 for brachytherapy and $46,900 for IMRT. However a review of the clinical literature uncovers no evidence that justifies the use of these more expensive approaches. These results imply that if patient management strategies were shifted to those supported by CER-based criteria, an estimated $1.7 to $3.0 billion (2009 present value) could be saved each year.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284671700010

    View details for PubMedID 21302424

  • Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Vaccination Against Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 2009 ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Khazeni, N., Hutton, D. W., Garber, A. M., Hupert, N., Owens, D. K. 2009; 151 (12): 829-U2


    Decisions on the timing and extent of vaccination against pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus are complex.To estimate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of pandemic influenza (H1N1) vaccination under different scenarios in October or November 2009.Compartmental epidemic model in conjunction with a Markov model of disease progression.Literature and expert opinion.Residents of a major U.S. metropolitan city with a population of 8.3 million.Lifetime.Societal.Vaccination in mid-October or mid-November 2009.Infections and deaths averted, costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness.Assuming each primary infection causes 1.5 secondary infections, vaccinating 40% of the population in October or November would be cost-saving. Vaccination in October would avert 2051 deaths, gain 69 679 QALYs, and save $469 million compared with no vaccination; vaccination in November would avert 1468 deaths, gain 49 422 QALYs, and save $302 million.Vaccination is even more cost-saving if longer incubation periods, lower rates of infectiousness, or increased implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions delay time to the peak of the pandemic. Vaccination saves fewer lives and is less cost-effective if the epidemic peaks earlier than mid-October.The model assumed homogenous mixing of case-patients and contacts; heterogeneous mixing would result in faster initial spread, followed by slower spread. Additional costs and savings not included in the model would make vaccination more cost-saving.Earlier vaccination against pandemic (H1N1) 2009 prevents more deaths and is more cost-saving. Complete population coverage is not necessary to reduce the viral reproductive rate sufficiently to help shorten the pandemic.Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272728900001

    View details for PubMedID 20008759

  • Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Expanded Antiviral Prophylaxis and Adjuvanted Vaccination Strategies for an Influenza A (H5N1) Pandemic ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Khazeni, N., Hutton, D. W., Garber, A. M., Owens, D. K. 2009; 151 (12): 840-U3


    The pandemic potential of influenza A (H5N1) virus is a prominent public health concern of the 21st century.To estimate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alternative pandemic (H5N1) mitigation and response strategies.Compartmental epidemic model in conjunction with a Markov model of disease progression.Literature and expert opinion.Residents of a U.S. metropolitan city with a population of 8.3 million.Lifetime.Societal.3 scenarios: 1) vaccination and antiviral pharmacotherapy in quantities similar to those currently available in the U.S. stockpile (stockpiled strategy), 2) stockpiled strategy but with expanded distribution of antiviral agents (expanded prophylaxis strategy), and 3) stockpiled strategy but with adjuvanted vaccine (expanded vaccination strategy). All scenarios assumed standard nonpharmaceutical interventions.Infections and deaths averted, costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness.Expanded vaccination was the most effective and cost-effective of the 3 strategies, averting 68% of infections and deaths and gaining 404 030 QALYs at $10 844 per QALY gained relative to the stockpiled strategy.Expanded vaccination remained incrementally cost-effective over a wide range of assumptions.The model assumed homogenous mixing of cases and contacts; heterogeneous mixing would result in faster initial spread, followed by slower spread. We did not model interventions for children or older adults; the model is not designed to target interventions to specific groups.Expanded adjuvanted vaccination is an effective and cost-effective mitigation strategy for an influenza A (H5N1) pandemic. Expanded antiviral prophylaxis can help delay the pandemic while additional strategies are implemented.National Institutes of Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272728900002

    View details for PubMedID 20008760

  • The Confirmatory Trial in Comparative-Effectiveness Research NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Garber, A. M., Hlatky, M. A. 2009; 361 (15): 1498-1499

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270540000014

    View details for PubMedID 19812407

  • Laparoscopy in women with unexplained infertility: a cost-effectiveness analysis FERTILITY AND STERILITY Moayeri, S. E., Lee, H. C., Lathi, R. B., Westphal, L. M., Milki, A. A., Garber, A. M. 2009; 92 (2): 471-480


    To evaluate the cost effectiveness of laparoscopy for unexplained infertility.We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis using a computer-generated decision analysis tree. Data used to construct the mathematical model were extracted from the literature or obtained from our practice. We compared outcomes following four treatment strategies: [1] no treatment, [2] standard infertility treatment algorithm (SITA), [3] laparoscopy with expectant management (LSC/EM), and [4] laparoscopy with infertility therapy (LSC/IT). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated, and one-way sensitivity analyses assessed the impact of varying base-case estimates.Academic in vitro fertilization practice.Computer-simulated patients assigned to one of four treatments.Fertility treatment or laparoscopy.Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.Using base-case assumptions, LSC/EM was preferred (ICER =$128,400 per live-birth in U.S. dollars). Changing the following did not alter results: rates and costs of multiple gestations, penalty for high-order multiples, infertility treatment costs, and endometriosis prevalence. Outcomes were most affected by patient dropout from infertility treatments-SITA was preferred when dropout was less than 9% per cycle. Less important factors included surgical costs, acceptability of twins, and the effects of untreated endometriosis on fecundity.Laparoscopy is cost effective in the initial management of young women with infertility, particularly when infertility treatment dropout rates exceed 9% per cycle.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.05.074

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268915200011

    View details for PubMedID 18722609

  • Toward a 21st-Century Health Care System: Recommendations for Health Care Reform ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Arrow, K., Auerbach, A., Bertko, J., Brownlee, S., Casalino, L. P., Cooper, J., Crosson, F. J., Enthoven, A., Falcone, E., Feldman, R. C., Fuchs, V. R., Garber, A. M., Gold, M. R., Goldman, D., Hadfield, G. K., Hall, M. A., Horwitz, R. I., Hooven, M., Jacobson, P. D., Jost, T. S., Kotlikoff, L. J., Levin, J., Levine, S., Levy, R., Linscott, K., Luft, H. S., Mashal, R., McFadden, D., Mechanic, D., Meltzer, D., Newhouse, J. P., Noll, R. G., Pietzsch, J. B., Pizzo, P., Reischauer, R. D., Rosenbaum, S., Sage, W., Schaeffer, L. D., Sheen, E., Silber, M., Skinner, J., Shortell, S. M., Thier, S. O., Tunis, S., Wulsin, L., Yock, P., Bin Nun, G., Bryan, S., Luxenburg, O., van de Ven, W. P. 2009; 150 (7): 493-?


    The coverage, cost, and quality problems of the U.S. health care system are evident. Sustainable health care reform must go beyond financing expanded access to care to substantially changing the organization and delivery of care. The FRESH-Thinking Project ( held a series of workshops during which physicians, health policy experts, health insurance executives, business leaders, hospital administrators, economists, and others who represent diverse perspectives came together. This group agreed that the following 8 recommendations are fundamental to successful reform: 1. Replace the current fee-for-service payment system with a payment system that encourages and rewards innovation in the efficient delivery of quality care. The new payment system should invest in the development of outcome measures to guide payment. 2. Establish a securely funded, independent agency to sponsor and evaluate research on the comparative effectiveness of drugs, devices, and other medical interventions. 3. Simplify and rationalize federal and state laws and regulations to facilitate organizational innovation, support care coordination, and streamline financial and administrative functions. 4. Develop a health information technology infrastructure with national standards of interoperability to promote data exchange. 5. Create a national health database with the participation of all payers, delivery systems, and others who own health care data. Agree on methods to make de-identified information from this database on clinical interventions, patient outcomes, and costs available to researchers. 6. Identify revenue sources, including a cap on the tax exclusion of employer-based health insurance, to subsidize health care coverage with the goal of insuring all Americans. 7. Create state or regional insurance exchanges to pool risk, so that Americans without access to employer-based or other group insurance could obtain a standard benefits package through these exchanges. Employers should also be allowed to participate in these exchanges for their employees' coverage. 8. Create a health coverage board with broad stakeholder representation to determine and periodically update the affordable standard benefit package available through state or regional insurance exchanges.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265117600008

    View details for PubMedID 19258550

  • Simple counts of ADL dependencies do not adequately reflect older adults' preferences toward states of functional impairment JOURNAL OF CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY Sims, T., Holmes, T. H., Bravata, D. M., Garber, A. M., Nelson, L. M., Goldstein, M. K. 2008; 61 (12): 1261-1270


    To use unweighted counts of dependencies in activities of daily living (ADLs) to assess the impact of functional impairment requires an assumption of equal preferences for each ADL dependency. To test this assumption, we analyzed standard gamble (SG) utilities of single and combination ADL dependencies among older adults.Four hundred older adults used multimedia software (FLAIR1) to report SG utilities for their current health and hypothetical health states of dependency in each of 7 ADLs and 8 of 30 combinations of ADL dependencies.Utilities for health states of multiple ADL dependencies were often greater than for states of single ADL dependencies. Dependence in eating, which is the ADL dependency with the lowest utility rating of the single ADL dependencies, ranked lower than 7 combination states. Similarly, some combination states with fewer ADL dependencies had lower utilities than those with more ADL dependencies. These findings were consistent across groups by gender, age, and education.Our results suggest that the count of ADL dependencies does not adequately represent the utility for a health state. Cost-effectiveness analyses and other evaluations of programs that prevent or treat functional dependency should apply utility weights rather than relying on simple ADL counts.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.05.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261219700010

    View details for PubMedID 18722749

  • Is American Health Care Uniquely Inefficient? JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES Garber, A. A., Skinner, J. 2008; 22 (4): 27-50

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261349700002

    View details for PubMedID 19305645

  • Management of acute kidney injury in the intensive care unit - A cost-effectiveness analysis of daily vs alternate-day hemodialysis ARCHIVES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Desai, A. A., Baras, J., Berk, B. B., Nakajima, A., Garber, A. M., Owens, D., Chertow, G. M. 2008; 168 (16): 1761-1767


    Although evidence suggests that a higher hemodialysis dose and/or frequency may be associated with improved outcomes, the cost-effectiveness of a daily hemodialysis strategy for critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) is unknown.We developed a Markov model of the cost, quality of life, survival, and incremental cost-effectiveness of daily hemodialysis, compared with alternate-day hemodialysis, for patients with AKI in the intensive care unit (ICU). We employed a societal perspective with a lifetime analytic time horizon. We modeled the efficacy of daily hemodialysis as a reduction in the relative risk of death on the basis of data reported in the 2004 clinical trial published by Schiffl et al. We performed 1- and 2-way sensitivity analyses across cost, efficacy, and utility input variables. The main outcome measure was cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).In the base case for a 60-year-old man, daily hemodialysis was projected to add 2.14 QALYs and $10,924 in cost. We found that the cost-effectiveness of daily hemodialysis compared with alternate-day hemodialysis was $5084 per QALY gained. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio became less favorable (>$50,000 per QALY gained) when the maintenance hemodialysis rate of the daily hemodialysis group was varied to more than 27% and when the difference in 14-day postdischarge mortality between the alternatives was varied to less than 0.5%.Daily hemodialysis is a cost-effective strategy compared with alternate-day hemodialysis for patients with severe AKI in the ICU.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259030600006

    View details for PubMedID 18779463

  • Is Having More Preapproval Data The Best Way To Assure Drug Safety? HEALTH AFFAIRS Garber, A. M. 2008; 27 (5): W371-W373


    An intensified focus on drug safety often leads to demands for more data collection prior to drug approval. Other approaches can be used, such as enhanced postmarketing surveillance. Many drug benefits and adverse effects are unlikely to become apparent before wide distribution among diverse patients. The best balance of pre- and postapproval data collection may vary by drug. The consequences of alternative strategies are complex and not always immediately apparent, so formal modeling offers the best approach to determine which strategy is optimal in each case.

    View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.27.5.w371

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259861700050

    View details for PubMedID 18682442

  • Commentary: The impact of Medicare coverage policies on health care utilization HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH Garber, A. M. 2008; 43 (4): 1302-1307
  • Future costs and the future of cost-effectiveness analysis JOURNAL OF HEALTH ECONOMICS Garber, A. M., Phelps, C. E. 2008; 27 (4): 819-821
  • A menu without prices ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Garber, A. M. 2008; 148 (12): 964-966

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257425000009

    View details for PubMedID 18483127

  • Systematic review: The effects of growth hormone on athletic performance ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Liu, H., Bravata, D. M., Olkin, I., Friedlander, A., Liu, V., Roberts, B., Bendavid, E., Saynina, O., Salpeter, S. R., Garber, A. M., Hoffman, A. R. 2008; 148 (10): 747-U59


    Human growth hormone is reportedly used to enhance athletic performance, although its safety and efficacy for this purpose are poorly understood.To evaluate evidence about the effects of growth hormone on athletic performance in physically fit, young individuals.MEDLINE, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, and Cochrane Collaboration databases were searched for English-language studies published between January 1966 and October 2007.Randomized, controlled trials that compared growth hormone treatment with no growth hormone treatment in community-dwelling healthy participants between 13 and 45 years of age.2 authors independently reviewed articles and abstracted data.44 articles describing 27 study samples met inclusion criteria; 303 participants received growth hormone, representing 13.3 person-years of treatment. Participants were young (mean age, 27 years [SD, 3]), lean (mean body mass index, 24 kg/m2 [SD, 2]), and physically fit (mean maximum oxygen uptake, 51 mL/kg of body weight per minute [SD, 8]). Growth hormone dosage (mean, 36 microg/kg per day [SD, 21]) and treatment duration (mean, 20 days [SD, 18] for studies giving growth hormone for >1 day) varied. Lean body mass increased in growth hormone recipients compared with participants who did not receive growth hormone (increase, 2.1 kg [95% CI, 1.3 to 2.9 kg]), but strength and exercise capacity did not seem to improve. Lactate levels during exercise were statistically significantly higher in 2 of 3 studies that evaluated this outcome. Growth hormone-treated participants more frequently experienced soft tissue edema and fatigue than did those not treated with growth hormone.Few studies evaluated athletic performance. Growth hormone protocols in the studies may not reflect real-world doses and regimens.Claims that growth hormone enhances physical performance are not supported by the scientific literature. Although the limited available evidence suggests that growth hormone increases lean body mass, it may not improve strength; in addition, it may worsen exercise capacity and increase adverse events. More research is needed to conclusively determine the effects of growth hormone on athletic performance.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000256372200004

    View details for PubMedID 18347346

  • Unsupervised method for automatic construction of a disease dictionary from a large free text collection. AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium Xu, R., Supekar, K., Morgan, A., Das, A., Garber, A. 2008: 820-824


    Concept specific lexicons (e.g. diseases, drugs, anatomy) are a critical source of background knowledge for many medical language-processing systems. However, the rapid pace of biomedical research and the lack of constraints on usage ensure that such dictionaries are incomplete. Focusing on disease terminology, we have developed an automated, unsupervised, iterative pattern learning approach for constructing a comprehensive medical dictionary of disease terms from randomized clinical trial (RCT) abstracts, and we compared different ranking methods for automatically extracting con-textual patterns and concept terms. When used to identify disease concepts from 100 randomly chosen, manually annotated clinical abstracts, our disease dictionary shows significant performance improvement (F1 increased by 35-88%) over available, manually created disease terminologies.

    View details for PubMedID 18999169

  • The promise of health care cost containment HEALTH AFFAIRS Garber, A., Goldman, D. P., Jena, A. B. 2007; 26 (6): 1545-1547


    Today the United States may be on the cusp of changing from a cost-unconscious health care system to one that seeks value. The consequences of adopting a value-based approach to coverage have not been well studied; however, several broad strands of the health literature suggest that spending could be reduced by as much as 30 percent without adversely affecting health.

    View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.26.6.1545

    View details for Web of Science ID 000251146300010

    View details for PubMedID 17978370

  • Rise of pay for performance: Implications for care of people with chronic kidney disease CLINICAL JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEPHROLOGY Desai, A. A., Garber, A. M., Chertow, G. M. 2007; 2 (5): 1087-1095


    Many health care providers and policy makers believe that health care financing systems fail to reward high-quality care. In recent years, federal and private payers have begun to promote pay for performance, or value-based purchasing, initiatives to raise the quality of care. This report describes conceptual issues in the design and implementation of pay for performance for chronic kidney disease and ESRD care. It also considers the implications of recent ESRD payment policy changes on the broader goals of pay for performance. Congressionally mandated bundle payment demonstration for dialysis, newly implemented case-mix adjustment of the composite rate, and G codes for the monthly capitation payment are important opportunities to understand facility and provider behavior with particular attention to patient selection and treatment practices. Well-designed payment systems will reward quality care for patients while maintaining appropriate accountability and fairness for health care providers.

    View details for DOI 10.2215/CJN.00510107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000249039500032

    View details for PubMedID 17702735

  • A cost-effectiveness analysis of adjuvant trastuzumab regimens in early HER2/neu-positive breast cancer JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Kurian, A. W., Newton Thompson, R., Gaw, A. F., Arai, S., Ortiz, R., Garber, A. M. 2007; 25 (6): 634-641


    One-year adjuvant trastuzumab (AT) therapy, with or without anthracyclines, increases disease-free and overall survival in early-stage HER2/neu-positive breast cancer. We sought to evaluate the cost effectiveness of these regimens, which are expensive and potentially toxic.We used a Markov health-state transition model to simulate three adjuvant therapy options for a cohort of 49-year-old women with HER2/neu-positive early-stage breast cancer: conventional chemotherapy without trastuzumab; anthracycline-based AT regimens used in the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project B-31 and North Central Cancer Treatment Group N9831 trials; and the nonanthracycline AT regimen used in the Breast Cancer International Research group 006 trial. The base case used treatment efficacy measures reported in the randomized clinical trials of AT. We measured health outcomes in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and costs in 2005 United States dollars (US dollars) and subjected results to probabilistic sensitivity analysis.In the base case, the anthracycline-based AT arm has an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of 39,982 dollars/QALY, whereas the nonanthracycline AT arm is more expensive and less effective; this result is insensitive to changes in recurrence rates, but if there is no benefit after 4 years, ICERs exceed 100,000 dollars/QALY for both AT arms. Results are moderately sensitive to variation in breast cancer survival rates and trastuzumab cost, and less sensitive to variations in cardiac toxicity.AT has an ICER comparable to those for other widely used interventions. Longer clinical follow-up is warranted to evaluate the long-term efficacy and toxicity of different AT regimens.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2006.06.3081

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244384000006

    View details for PubMedID 17308268

  • B type natriuretic peptide testing was more cost effective than conventional diagnosis in patients with acute dyspnoea. Evidence-based medicine Shetty, K., Garber, A. 2007; 12 (1): 28-?

    View details for PubMedID 17264276

  • Systematic review: The safety and efficacy of growth hormone in the healthy elderly ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Liu, H., Bravata, D. M., Olkin, I., Nayak, S., Roberts, B., Garber, A. M., Hoffman, A. R. 2007; 146 (2): 104-115


    Human growth hormone (GH) is widely used as an antiaging therapy, although its use for this purpose has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its distribution as an antiaging agent is illegal in the United States.To evaluate the safety and efficacy of GH therapy in the healthy elderly.The authors searched MEDLINE and EMBASE databases for English-language studies published through 21 November 2005 by using such terms as growth hormone and aging.The authors included randomized, controlled trials that compared GH therapy with no GH therapy or GH and lifestyle interventions (exercise with or without diet) with lifestyle interventions alone. Included trials provided GH for 2 weeks or more to community-dwelling participants with a mean age of 50 years or more and a body mass index of 35 kg/m2 or less. The authors excluded studies that evaluated GH as treatment for a specific illness.Two authors independently reviewed articles and abstracted data.31 articles describing 18 unique study populations met the inclusion criteria. A total of 220 participants who received GH (107 person-years) completed their respective studies. Study participants were elderly (mean age, 69 years [SD, 6]) and overweight (mean body mass index, 28 kg/m2 [SD, 2]). Initial daily GH dose (mean, 14 microg per kg of body weight [SD, 7]) and treatment duration (mean, 27 weeks [SD, 16]) varied. In participants treated with GH compared with those not treated with GH, overall fat mass decreased (change in fat mass, -2.1 kg [95% CI, -2.8 to -1.35] and overall lean body mass increased (change in lean body mass, 2.1 kg [CI, 1.3 to 2.9]) (P < 0.001), and their weight did not change significantly (change in weight, 0.1 kg [CI, -0.7 to 0.8]; P = 0.87). Total cholesterol levels decreased (change in cholesterol, -0.29 mmol/L [-11.21 mg/dL]; P = 0.006), although not significantly after adjustment for body composition changes. Other outcomes, including bone density and other serum lipid levels, did not change. Persons treated with GH were significantly more likely to experience soft tissue edema, arthralgias, carpal tunnel syndrome, and gynecomastia and were somewhat more likely to experience the onset of diabetes mellitus and impaired fasting glucose.Some important outcomes were infrequently or heterogeneously measured and could not be synthesized. Most included studies had small sample sizes.The literature published on randomized, controlled trials evaluating GH therapy in the healthy elderly is limited but suggests that it is associated with small changes in body composition and increased rates of adverse events. On the basis of this evidence, GH cannot be recommended as an antiaging therapy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243901000004

    View details for PubMedID 17227934

  • Extracting Subject Demographic Information From Abstracts of Randomized Clinical Trial Reports MEDINFO 2007: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 12TH WORLD CONGRESS ON HEALTH (MEDICAL) INFORMATICS, PTS 1 AND 2 xu, r., Garten, Y., Supekar, K. S., Das, A. K., Altman, R. B., Garber, A. M. 2007; 129: 550-554


    In order to make more informed healthcare decisions, consumers need information systems that deliver accurate and reliable information about their illnesses and potential treatments. Reports of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) provide reliable medical evidence about the efficacy of treatments. Current methods to access, search for, and retrieve RCTs are keyword-based, time-consuming, and suffer from poor precision. Personalized semantic search and medical evidence summarization aim to solve this problem. The performance of these approaches may improve if they have access to study subject descriptors (e.g. age, gender, and ethnicity), trial sizes, and diseases/symptoms studied. We have developed a novel method to automatically extract such subject demographic information from RCT abstracts. We used text classification augmented with a Hidden Markov Model to identify sentences containing subject demographics, and subsequently these sentences were parsed using Natural Language Processing techniques to extract relevant information. Our results show accuracy levels of 82.5%, 92.5%, and 92.0% for extraction of subject descriptors, trial sizes, and diseases/symptoms descriptors respectively.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272064000111

    View details for PubMedID 17911777

  • The cost-effectiveness of therapy with Teriparatide and alendronate in women with severe osteoporosis ARCHIVES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Liu, H., Michaud, K., Nayak, S., Karpf, D. B., Owens, D. K., Garber, A. M. 2006; 166 (11): 1209-1217


    Teriparatide is a promising new agent for the treatment of osteoporosis.The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of teriparatide-based strategies compared with alendronate sodium for the first-line treatment of high-risk osteoporotic women. We developed a microsimulation with a societal perspective. Key data sources include the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, the Fracture Intervention Trial, and the Fracture Prevention Trial. We evaluated postmenopausal white women with low bone density and prevalent vertebral fracture. The interventions were usual care (UC) (calcium or vitamin D supplementation) compared with 3 strategies: 5 years of alendronate therapy, 2 years of teriparatide therapy, and 2 years of teriparatide therapy followed by 5 years of alendronate therapy (sequential teriparatide/alendronate). The main outcome measure was cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).For the base-case analysis, the cost of alendronate treatment was 11,600 dollars per QALY compared with UC. The cost of sequential teriparatide/alendronate therapy was 156,500 dollars per QALY compared with alendronate. Teriparatide treatment alone was more expensive and produced a smaller increase in QALYs than alendronate. For sensitivity analysis, teriparatide alone was less cost-effective than alendronate even if its efficacy lasted 15 years after treatment cessation. Sequential teriparatide/alendronate therapy was less cost-effective than alendronate even if fractures were eliminated during the alendronate phase, although its cost-effectiveness was less than 50,000 dollars per QALY if the price of teriparatide decreased 60%, if used in elderly women with T scores of -4.0 or less, or if 6 months of teriparatide therapy had comparable efficacy to 2 years of treatment.Alendronate compares favorably to interventions accepted as cost-effective. Therapy with teriparatide alone is more expensive and produces a smaller increase in QALYs than therapy with alendronate. Sequential teriparatide/alendronate therapy appear expensive but could become more cost-effective with reductions in teriparatide price, with restriction to use in exceptionally high-risk women, or if short courses of treatment have comparable efficacy to that observed in clinical trials.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238198200009

    View details for PubMedID 16772249

  • Cost-effectiveness of screening BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with breast magnetic resonance imaging JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Plevritis, S. K., Kurian, A. W., Sigal, B. M., Daniel, B. L., Ikeda, D. M., Stockdale, F. E., Garber, A. M. 2006; 295 (20): 2374-2384


    Women with inherited BRCA1/2 mutations are at high risk for breast cancer, which mammography often misses. Screening with contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detects cancer earlier but increases costs and results in more false-positive scans.To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of screening BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with mammography plus breast MRI compared with mammography alone.A computer model that simulates the life histories of individual BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, incorporating the effects of mammographic and MRI screening was used. The accuracy of mammography and breast MRI was estimated from published data in high-risk women. Breast cancer survival in the absence of screening was based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database of breast cancer patients diagnosed in the prescreening period (1975-1981), adjusted for the current use of adjuvant therapy. Utilization rates and costs of diagnostic and treatment interventions were based on a combination of published literature and Medicare payments for 2005.The survival benefit, incremental costs, and cost-effectiveness of MRI screening strategies, which varied by ages of starting and stopping MRI screening, were computed separately for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.Screening strategies that incorporate annual MRI as well as annual mammography have a cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained ranging from less than 45,000 dollars to more than 700,000 dollars, depending on the ages selected for MRI screening and the specific BRCA mutation. Relative to screening with mammography alone, the cost per QALY gained by adding MRI from ages 35 to 54 years is 55,420 dollars for BRCA1 mutation carriers, 130,695 dollars for BRCA2 mutation carriers, and 98,454 dollars for BRCA2 mutation carriers who have mammographically dense breasts.Breast MRI screening is more cost-effective for BRCA1 than BRCA2 mutation carriers. The cost-effectiveness of adding MRI to mammography varies greatly by age.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000237734400023

    View details for PubMedID 16720823

  • To use technology better HEALTH AFFAIRS Garber, A. M. 2006; 25 (2): W51-W53


    Although technological innovation can improve health outcomes, the precise magnitude of the contribution and its value are not easily measured. The findings reported by Jonathan Skinner and colleagues temper the favorable conclusions reached by observing correlations between improvement in heart attack outcomes over time with spending on medical products and services. Improvements in health care depend not only on producing better technologies, but also on using technology better.

    View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.25.w51

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236094500063

    View details for PubMedID 16464903

  • Combining text classification and Hidden Markov Modeling techniques for categorizing sentences in randomized clinical trial abstracts. AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium xu, r., Supekar, K., Huang, Y., Das, A., Garber, A. 2006: 824-828


    Randomized clinical trials (RCT) papers provide reliable information about efficacy of medical interventions. Current keyword based search methods to retrieve medical evidence,overload users with irrelevant information as these methods often do not take in to consideration semantics encoded within abstracts and the search query. Personalized semantic search, intelligent clinical question answering and medical evidence summarization aim to solve this information overload problem. Most of these approaches will significantly benefit if the information available in the abstracts is structured into meaningful categories (e.g., background, objective, method, result and conclusion). While many journals use structured abstract format, majority of RCT abstracts still remain unstructured.We have developed a novel automated approach to structure RCT abstracts by combining text classification and Hidden Markov Modeling(HMM) techniques. Results (precision: 0.98, recall: 0.99) of our approach significantly outperform previously reported work on automated categorization of sentences in RCT abstracts.

    View details for PubMedID 17238456

  • The effect of geriatrics evaluation and management on nursing home use and health care costs - Results from a randomized trial MEDICAL CARE Phibbs, C. S., Holty, J. E., Goldstein, M. K., Garber, A. M., Wang, Y. J., Feussner, J. R., Cohen, H. J. 2006; 44 (1): 91-95


    The Geriatric Evaluation and Management study was developed to assess the impact of a comprehensive geriatric assessment service on the care of the elderly.We sought to evaluate the cost and clinical impact of inpatient units and outpatient clinics for geriatric evaluation and management.We undertook a prospective, randomized, controlled trial using a 2x2 factorial design, with 1-year follow-up.A total of 1388 participants hospitalized on either a medical or surgical ward at 11 participating Veterans Affairs medical centers were randomized to receive either inpatient geriatric unit (GEMU) or usual inpatient care (UCIP), followed by either outpatient care from a geriatric clinic (GEMC) versus usual outpatient care (UCOP).We measured health care utilization and costs.Patients assigned to the GEMU had a significantly decreased rate of nursing home placement (odds ratio=0.65; P=0.001). Neither the GEMU nor GEMC had any statistically significant improvement effects on survival and only modest effects on health status. There were statistically insignificant mean cost savings of $1027 (P=0.29) per patient for the GEMU and $1665 (P=0.69) per patient for the GEMC.Inpatient or outpatient geriatric evaluation and management units didn't increase the costs of care. Although there was no effect on survival and only modest effects on SF-36 scores at 1-year follow-up, there was a statistically significant reduction in nursing home admissions for patients treated in the GEMU.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234342600013

    View details for PubMedID 16365618

  • Invariance and inconsistency in utility ratings MEDICAL DECISION MAKING Bravata, D. M., Nelson, L. M., Garber, A. M., Goldstein, M. K. 2005; 25 (2): 158-167


    To assess utilities of composite health states for dependence in activities of daily living (ADLs) for invariance (i.e., when subjects provide a utility of 1 for all health states) and order inconsistency (i.e., when subjects order their utilities such that their utility for a combination of ADL dependencies is greater than their utility for any subset of the combination).Each of the 400 subjects, age 65 y and older, enrolled in one of several regional medical centers of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California and provided standard-gamble utilities for single ADL dependencies (e.g., bathing, dressing, continence) and for dependence in 8 other combinations of ADL dependencies. For order-inconsistent responses, the authors calculated the maximum magnitude of inconsistency as the maximum difference between the utility for the combined ADL dependence health state and that of its inconsistent subset.A total of 76 subjects (19%) gave a utility of 1.0 for all health states presented to them; 19 (5%) gave the same utility other than 1.0 for all health states; 130 (33%) gave at least 1 utility < 1.0 and had no order inconsistencies; and 175 (44%) had at least 1 order inconsistency. Invariance was associated with a Mini-Mental Status Examination score < 28.6 (P = 0.01), with education < 12 y (P = 0.004), with race/ethnicity other than non-Hispanic White/Caucasian (P = 0.001), and with shorter time spent on the utility elicitation task (P < 0.0001). Among the inconsistent subjects, 69% had a maximal magnitude of inconsistency that was within 1 standard deviation of the mean utilities. The maximal magnitude of inconsistency was associated with longer time spent on the elicitation task (P < 0.0001) and race/ethnicity other than non-Hispanic White/Caucasian (P = 0.005). The mean (s) utility for dependence in continence among consistent subjects who were not invariant (0.88 [0.24]) was higher than among inconsistent subjects (0.80 [0.27]; P = 0.01).Invariance and order inconsistencies in utility ratings for complex health states occur frequently. Utilities of consistent subjects may differ from those of inconsistent subjects. Utility assessments should attempt to measure and report these patterns.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0272989X05275399

    View details for Web of Science ID 000228014000004

    View details for PubMedID 15800300

  • Multimedia quality of life assessment: advances with FLAIR. AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium Sims, T. L., Garber, A. M., Miller, D. E., Mahlow, P. T., Bravata, D. M., Goldstein, M. K. 2005: 694-698


    Assessing impact of functional dependency on quality of life (QOL) among older adults can provide an in-depth understanding of health preferences. Utilities as a measure of preferences are necessary in conducting cost-effectiveness evaluations of healthcare interventions designed to improve overall QOL. We describe further development of a multimedia utility elicitation instrument that is highly portable and easily accessible. An earlier version, FLAIR1, introduced features designed for older adult, computer inexperienced users. FLAIR2 includes modifications such as migration to a web-based platform, consistency checks, audio/visual updates, and more response methods. As compared with FLAIR1, more FLAIR2 respondents (n=318) preferred using the computer and found the computer program to be enjoyable, easy to use, and easily understood. There were also fewer inconsistencies among FLAIR2 respondents. FLAIR2 enhancements have increased portability, minimized invariance and inconsistency, and produced a more user friendly design.

    View details for PubMedID 16779129

  • Evidence-based guidelines as a foundation for performance incentives HEALTH AFFAIRS Garber, A. M. 2005; 24 (1): 174-179


    Clinical guidelines, which increasingly build upon impartial analysis of evidence from well-designed studies, have become highly credible sources of information about what forms of care are effective. Consequently, they are attractive as foundations for performance incentives. Unfortunately, they are often complex, and frequently it is infeasible to gather the information required to assess compliance with guidelines at reasonable cost. I discuss the problems in implementing evidence-based guidelines and steps that could be taken to make them more useful as a basis for performance measurement.

    View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.24.1.174

    View details for Web of Science ID 000227835600023

    View details for PubMedID 15647228

  • Health plans' coverage determinations for technology-based interventions: The case of electrical bone growth stimulation AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MANAGED CARE Huang, A. J., Gemperli, M. P., Bergthold, L., Singer, S. S., Garber, A. 2004; 10 (12): 957-962


    To determine (1) whether commercial health plans' coverage criteria for a costly technology-based medical intervention are consistent with recent clinical effectiveness evidence, (2) whether medical directors adhere to planwide coverage criteria when making coverage determinations for individual patients, and (3) if any organizational characteristics are associated with having more stringent coverage criteria or making more frequent coverage denials.Case-based survey of medical directors of US commercial health plans.A close-ended survey was mailed to 346 medical directors meeting eligibility criteria, asking about the criteria specified in their plans' coverage policies for electrical bone growth stimulation (EBGS) and whether they would cover this intervention for a hypothetical patient with abnormal union of long-bone fracture.Responses from 228 (66%) of the 346 directors indicated that approximately 72% of plans have a formal coverage policy for EBGS for long-bone fractures. More than 30% of plans specify that longer than 4 months must elapse before EBGS is attempted, although clinical studies do not support absolute waiting times. Directors of approximately 61% of plans with policies requiring extended waiting periods would nevertheless authorize EBGS for patients who did not meet this criterion.Health plans apply varied criteria in coverage policies for technology-based treatments such as EBGS, but do not always adhere to stated criteria when determining coverage for individual patients. For-profit status, accreditation status, geographic location, and size of plan are not associated with being more or less likely to authorize EBGS.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000225627700007

    View details for PubMedID 15617371

  • Cost-effectiveness and evidence evaluation as criteria for coverage policy. Health affairs Garber, A. M. 2004: W4-284 96


    Private health plans and government health insurance programs in the United States base their coverage decisions on evidence criteria, rather than explicit cost-effectiveness criteria. As health spending continues to grow rapidly, however, approaches to coverage policy that ignore costs fail to meet the needs of consumers, employers, health plans, and federal and state governments. I describe the role of evidence-based criteria in formal coverage decision making and contrast the ways that these criteria differ from cost-effectiveness criteria. Finally, I discuss options for incorporating considerations of cost-effectiveness into coverage policy and other aspects of benefit design.

    View details for PubMedID 15451997

  • Cost-effectiveness of bypass surgery versus stenting in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Yock, C. A., Boothroyd, D. B., Owens, D. K., Garber, A. M., Hlatky, M. A. 2003; 115 (5): 382-389


    To compare the cost-effectiveness of surgical and angioplasty-based coronary artery revascularization techniques, in particular, angioplasty with primary stenting.We used data from the Study of Economics and Quality of Life, a substudy of the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation (BARI), to measure the outcomes and costs of angioplasty and bypass surgery in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease who had not undergone prior coronary artery revascularization. Using a Markov decision model, we updated the outcomes and costs to reflect technology changes since the time of enrollment in BARI, and projected the lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) for the two procedures from the time of initial treatment through death. We accounted for the effects of improved procedural safety and efficiency, and prolonged therapeutic effects of both surgery and stenting. This study was conducted from a societal perspective.Surgical revascularization was less costly and resulted in better outcomes than catheter-based intervention including stenting. It remained the preferred strategy after adjusting the stent outcomes to eliminate the costs and events associated with target lesion restenosis. Among angioplasty-based strategies, primary stent use cost an additional 189,000 US dollars per QALY gained compared with a strategy that reserved stent use for treatment of suboptimal balloon angioplasty results.Bypass surgery results in better outcomes than angioplasty in patients with multivessel disease, and at a lower cost.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S0002-9343(03)00296-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185776400007

    View details for PubMedID 14553874

  • Racial disparity in cardiac procedures and mortality among long-term survivors of cardiac arrest CIRCULATION Groeneveld, P. W., Heidenreich, P. A., Garber, A. M. 2003; 108 (3): 286-291


    It is unknown whether white and black Medicare beneficiaries have different rates of cardiac procedure utilization or long-term survival after cardiac arrest.A total of 5948 elderly Medicare beneficiaries (5429 white and 519 black) were identified who survived to hospital discharge between 1990 and 1999 after admission for cardiac arrest. Demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical information about these patients was obtained from Medicare administrative files, the US census, and the American Hospital Association's annual institutional survey. A Cox proportional hazard model that included demographic and clinical predictors indicated a hazard ratio for mortality of 1.30 (95% CI 1.09 to 1.55) for blacks aged 66 to 74 years compared with whites of the same age. The addition of cardiac procedures to this model lowered the hazard ratio for blacks to 1.23 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.46). In analyses stratified by race, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) had a mortality hazard ratio of 0.53 (95% CI 0.45 to 0.62) for white patients and 0.50 (95% CI 0.27 to 0.91) for black patients. Logistic regression models that compared procedure rates between races indicated odds ratios for blacks aged 66 to 74 years of 0.58 (95% CI 0.36 to 0.94) to receive an ICD and 0.50 (95% CI 0.34 to 0.75) to receive either revascularization or an ICD.There is racial disparity in long-term mortality among elderly cardiac arrest survivors. Both black and white patients benefited from ICD implantation, but blacks were less likely to undergo this potentially life-saving procedure. Lower rates of cardiac procedures may explain in part the lower survival rates among black patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/01.CIR.0000079164.95019.5A

    View details for Web of Science ID 000184282200012

    View details for PubMedID 12835222

  • Trends in hospital treatment of ventricular arrhythmias among Medicare beneficiaries, 1985 to 1995 AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL McDonald, K. M., Hlatky, M. A., Saynina, O., Geppert, J., Garber, A. M., McClellan, M. B. 2002; 144 (3): 413-421


    Treatment options for patients with ventricular arrhythmias have undergone major changes in the last 2 decades. Trends in use of invasive procedures, clinical outcomes, and expenditures have not been well documented.We used administrative databases of Medicare beneficiaries from 1985 to 1995 to identify patients hospitalized with ventricular arrhythmias. We created a longitudinal patient profile by linking the index admission with all earlier and subsequent admissions and with death records.Approximately 85,000 patients aged > or =65 years went to hospitals in the United States with ventricular arrhythmias each year, and about 20,000 lived to admission. From 1987 to 1995, the use of electrophysiology studies and implantable cardioverter defibrillators in patients who were hospitalized grew substantially, from 3% to 22% and from 1% to 13%, respectively. Hospital expenditures rose 8% per year, primarily because of the increased use of invasive procedures. Survival improved, particularly in the medium term, with 1-year survival rates increasing between 1987 and 1994 from 52.9% to 58.3%, or half a percentage point each year.Survival of patients who sustain a ventricular arrhythmia is poor, but improving. For patients who are admitted, more intensive treatment has been accompanied by increased hospital expenditures.

    View details for DOI 10.1067/mhj.2002.125498

    View details for Web of Science ID 000178086800008

    View details for PubMedID 12228777

  • Perinatal screening for group B streptococci: Cost-benefit analysis of rapid polymerase chain reaction PEDIATRICS Haberland, C. A., Benitz, W. E., Sanders, G. D., Pietzsch, J. B., Yamada, S., Nguyen, L., Garber, A. M. 2002; 110 (3): 471-480


    To evaluate the costs and benefits of a group B streptococci screening strategy using a new, rapid polymerase chain reaction test in a hypothetical cohort of expectant mothers in the United States.Cost-benefit analysis using the human capital method. We developed a decision model to analyze the costs and benefits of a hypothetical group B streptococci screening strategy using a new, rapid polymerase chain reaction test as compared with the currently recommended group B streptococci screening guidelines-prenatal culture performed at 35 to 37 weeks or risk-factor-based strategy with subsequent intrapartum treatment of the expectant mothers with antibiotics to prevent early-onset group B streptococcal infections in their infants.A hypothetical cohort of pregnant women and their newborns.Screening strategies for group B streptococci using the new polymerase chain reaction technique, the 35- to 37-week culture, or maternal risk factors.Infant infections averted, infant deaths, infant disabilities, costs, and societal benefits of healthy infants.A screening strategy using the new polymerase chain reaction test generates a net benefit of $7 per birth when compared with the maternal risk-factor strategy. For every 1 million births, 80 700 more women would receive antibiotics, 884 fewer infants would become infected with early-onset group B streptococci, and 23 infants would be saved from death or disability. The polymerase chain reaction-based strategy generates a net benefit of $6 per birth when compared with the 35- to 37-week prenatal culture strategy and results in fewer maternal courses of antibiotics (64 080 per million births), fewer perinatal infections with early-onset group B streptococci (218/million), and a reduction in 6 infant deaths and severe infant disability per million births. The benefits hold over a wide range of assumptions regarding key factors in the analysis.Although additional clinical trials are needed to establish the accuracy of this new polymerase chain reaction test, initial studies suggest that strategies using this test will be superior to the other 2 strategies. Using the rapid polymerase chain reaction test becomes less attractive as the cost of the test increases. The test's greatest strengths lie in its ability to identify women and infants at risk at the time of labor, thereby decreasing the number of false-positives and false-negatives seen with the other 2 strategies and allowing for more accurate and effective intrapartum prophylaxis.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177762900013

    View details for PubMedID 12205247

  • Utilization and outcomes of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator, 1987 to 1995 AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL Hlatky, M. A., Saynina, O., McDonald, K. M., Garber, A. M., McClellan, M. B. 2002; 144 (3): 397-403


    The patterns of adoption of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and the outcomes of its use have not been well documented in general, unselected populations. The purpose of this study was to document the impact of the ICD in widespread clinical practice.We identified ICD recipients by use of the hospital discharge databases of Medicare beneficiaries for 1987 through 1995 and of California residents for 1991 through 1995. The index admission for each patient was linked to previous and subsequent admissions and to mortality files to create a longitudinal patient profile.The rate of ICD implantations increased >10-fold between 1987 and 1995, as both the number of hospitals performing the procedure and the volume of ICD implantations per hospital rose. Mortality rates within 30 days of ICD implantation decreased from 6.0% to 1.9%, and mortality rates within 1 year fell from 19.3% to 11.4%. Surgical interventions to revise or replace the ICD within the first year remained about 5%, however, and cumulative expenditures at 1 year ($46,000-$51,000) changed very little. ICD implantation rates varied >3-fold among different regions of the United States.ICD use has expanded markedly during the study period, with improved mortality rates, but medical expenditures and rates of surgical revision remain high for ICD recipients.

    View details for DOI 10.1067/mhj.2002.125496

    View details for Web of Science ID 000178086800006

    View details for PubMedID 12228775

  • Quality of life assessment software for computer-inexperienced older adults: Multimedia utility elicitation for activities of daily living AMIA 2002 SYMPOSIUM, PROCEEDINGS Goldstein, M. K., Miller, D. E., Davies, S., Garber, A. M. 2002: 295-299


    Functional status as measured by dependencies in the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is an important indicator of overall health for older adults. Methodologies for outcomes-based medical-decision-making for public policy, such as decision modeling and cost-effectiveness analysis, require utilities for outcome health states. Utilities have been reported for many disease states, but have not been indexed by functional status, which is a strong predictor of outcome in geriatrics. We describe here a utility elicitation program developed specifically for use with computer-inexperienced older adults: Functional Limitation And Independence Rating (FLAIR1). FLAIR1 design features address common physical problems of the aged and computer attitudes of inexperienced users that could impede computer acceptance. We interviewed 400 adults ages 65 years and older with FLAIR1. In exit interviews with 154 respondents, 118 (76%) found FLAIR1 easy to use. Design features in FLAIR1 can be applied to other software for older adults

    View details for Web of Science ID 000189418100060

    View details for PubMedID 12463834

  • Cost-effectiveness of automated external defibrillators on airlines JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Groeneveld, P. W., Kwong, J. L., Liu, Y. Y., Rodriguez, A. J., Jones, M. P., Sanders, G. D., Garber, A. M. 2001; 286 (12): 1482-1489


    Installation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on passenger aircraft has been shown to improve survival of cardiac arrest in that setting, but the cost-effectiveness of such measures has not been proven.To examine the costs and effectiveness of several different options for AED deployment in the US commercial air transportation system.Decision and cost-effectiveness analysis of a strategy of full deployment on all aircraft as well as several strategies of partial deployment only on larger aircraft, compared with a baseline strategy of no AEDs on aircraft (but training flight attendants in basic life support) for a hypothetical cohort of persons experiencing cardiac arrest aboard US commercial aircraft. Estimates for costs and outcomes were obtained from the medical literature, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Air Transport Association of America, a population-based cohort of Medicare patients, AED manufacturers, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Quality-adjusted survival after cardiac arrest; costs of AED deployment on aircraft and of medical care for cardiac arrest survivors.Adding AEDs on passenger aircraft with more than 200 passengers would cost $35 300 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. Additional AEDs on aircraft with capacities between 100 and 200 persons would cost an additional $40 800 per added QALY compared with deployment on large-capacity aircraft only, and full deployment on all passenger aircraft would cost an additional $94 700 per QALY gained compared with limited deployment on aircraft with capacity greater than 100. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the quality of life, annual mortality rate, and the effectiveness of AEDs in improving survival were the most influential factors in the model. In 85% of Monte Carlo simulations, AED placement on large-capacity aircraft produced cost-effectiveness ratios of less than $50 000 per QALY.The cost-effectiveness of placing AEDs on commercial aircraft compares favorably with the cost-effectiveness of widely accepted medical interventions and health policy regulations, but is critically dependent on the passenger capacity of the aircraft. Placing AEDs on most US commercial aircraft would meet conventional standards of cost-effectiveness.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171188600026

    View details for PubMedID 11572741

  • Evidence-based coverage policy HEALTH AFFAIRS Garber, A. M. 2001; 20 (5): 62-82


    Many health plans apply evidence-based approaches to coverage decisions. The foundation of such approaches is the systematic review of information about the effectiveness of medical interventions. This paper discusses the principles underlying evidence-based coverage policy and how they are applied by two major programs: the Technology Evaluation Center of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee. Although such policies likely have limited effects on spending, they can help to direct medical resources toward effective care.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000170862800007

    View details for PubMedID 11558722

  • A cost-effectiveness analysis of prescribing strategies in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease AMERICAN JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY Gerson, L. B., Robbins, A. S., Garber, A., Hornberger, J., Triadafilopoulos, G. 2000; 95 (2): 395-407


    Patients who have uncomplicated gastroesophageal-reflux disease (GERD) typically present with heartburn and acid regurgitation. We sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of H2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs) and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) as first-line empiric therapy for patients with typical symptoms of GERD.Decision analysis comparing costs and benefits of empirical treatment with H2RAs and PPIs for patients presenting with typical GERD was employed. The six treatment arms in the model were: 1) Lifestyle therapy, including antacids; 2) H2RA therapy, with endoscopy performed if no response to H2RAs; 3) Step up (H2RA-PPI) Arm: H2RA followed by PPI therapy in the case of symptomatic failure; 4) Step down arm: PPI therapy followed by H2RA if symptomatic response to PPI, and antacid therapy if response to H2RA therapy; 5) PPI-on-demand therapy: 8 wk of treatment for symptomatic recurrence, with no more than three courses per year; and 6) PPI-continuous therapy. Measurements were lifetime costs, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained, and incremental cost effectiveness.Initial therapy with PPIs followed by on-demand therapy was the most cost-effective approach, with a cost-effectiveness ratio of $20,934 per QALY gained for patients with moderate to severe GERD symptoms, and $37,923 for patients with mild GERD symptoms. This therapy was also associated with the greatest gain in discounted QALYs. The PPI-on-demand strategy was more effective and less costly than the H2RA followed by PPI strategy or the other treatment arms. The results were not highly sensitive to cost of therapy, QALY adjustment from GERD symptoms, or the success rate of the lifestyle arm. However, when the success rate of the PPI-on-demand arm was < or =59%, the H2RA-PPI arm was the preferred strategy.For patients with moderate to severe symptoms of GERD, initial treatment with PPIs followed by on-demand therapy is a cost-effective approach.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000085334200019

    View details for PubMedID 10685741

  • Comments - Realistic rigor in cost-effectiveness methods MEDICAL DECISION MAKING Garber, A. M. 1999; 19 (4): 378-379

    View details for Web of Science ID 000083056100002

    View details for PubMedID 10520673

  • Low-molecular-weight heparins compared with unfractionated heparin for treatment of acute deep venous thrombosis - A cost-effectiveness analysis ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Gould, M. K., Dembitzer, A. D., Sanders, G. D., Garber, A. M. 1999; 130 (10): 789-?


    Low-molecular-weight heparins are effective for treating venous thrombosis, but their cost-effectiveness has not been rigorously assessed.To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of low-molecular-weight heparins compared with unfractionated heparin for treatment of acute deep venous thrombosis.Decision model.Probabilities for clinical outcomes were obtained from a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Cost estimates were derived from Medicare reimbursement and other sources.Two hypothetical cohorts of 60-year-old men with acute deep venous thrombosis.Patient lifetime.Societal.Fixed-dose low-molecular-weight heparin or adjusted-dose unfractionated heparin.Costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. An in-patient hospital setting was used for the base-case analysis. Secondary analyses examined outpatient treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin.Total costs for inpatient treatment were $26,516 for low-molecular-weight heparin and $26,361 for unfractionated heparin. The cost of initial care was higher in patients who received low-molecular-weight heparin, but this was partly offset by reduced costs for early complications. Low-molecular-weight heparin treatment increased quality-adjusted life expectancy by approximately 0.02 years. The incremental cost-effectiveness of inpatient low-molecular-weight heparin treatment was $7820 per QALY gained. Treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin was cost saving when as few as 8% of patients were treated at home.When late complications were assumed to occur 25% less frequently in patients who received unfractionated heparin, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio increased to almost $75,000 per QALY gained. When late complications were assumed to occur 25% less frequently in patients who received low-molecular-weight heparin, this treatment resulted in a net cost savings. Inpatient low-molecular-weight heparin treatment became cost saving when its pharmacy cost was reduced by 31% or more, when it reduced the yearly incidence of late complications by at least 7%, when as few as 8% of patients were treated entirely as outpatients, or when at least 13% of patients were eligible for early discharge.Low-molecular-weight heparins are highly cost-effective for inpatient management of venous thrombosis. This treatment reduces costs when small numbers of patients are eligible for outpatient management.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000080305000001

    View details for PubMedID 10366368

  • Low-molecular-weight heparins compared with unfractionated heparin for treatment of acute deep venous thrombosis - A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Gould, M. K., Dembitzer, A. D., Doyle, R. L., Hastie, T. J., Garber, A. M. 1999; 130 (10): 800-?


    Low-molecular-weight heparins may simplify the management of deep venous thrombosis. A critical clinical issue is whether this more convenient therapy is as safe and effective as treatment with unfractionated heparin.To compare the safety and efficacy of low-molecular-weight heparins with those of unfractionated heparin for treatment of acute deep venous thrombosis.Reviewers identified studies by searching MEDLINE, reviewing references from retrieved articles, scanning abstracts from conference proceedings, and contacting investigators and pharmaceutical companies.Randomized, controlled trials that compared a low-molecular-weight heparin preparation with unfractionated heparin for treatment of acute deep venous thrombosis.Two reviewers extracted data independently. Reviewers evaluated study quality using a validated four-item instrument.Eleven of 37 studies met inclusion criteria for three major outcomes. Most studies used proper randomization procedures, but only one was double-blinded. Compared with unfractionated heparin, low-molecular-weight heparins reduced mortality rates over 3 to 6 months of patient follow-up (odds ratio, 0.71 [95% CI, 0.53 to 0.94]; P = 0.02). For major bleeding complications, the odds ratio favored low-molecular-weight heparins (0.57 [CI, 0.33 to 0.99]; P = 0.047), but the absolute risk reduction was small and not statistically significant (0.61% [CI, -0.04% to 1.26%]; P = 0.07). For preventing thromboembolic recurrences, low-molecular-weight heparins seemed as effective as unfractionated heparin (odds ratio, 0.85 [CI, 0.63 to 1.14]; P > 0.2).Low-molecular-weight heparin treatment reduces mortality rates after acute deep venous thrombosis. These drugs seem to be as safe as unfractionated heparin with respect to major bleeding complications and appear to be as effective in preventing thromboembolic recurrences.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000080305000002

    View details for PubMedID 10366369

  • Cost-effectiveness of alternative test strategies for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Garber, A. M., Solomon, N. A. 1999; 130 (9): 719-?


    The appropriate roles for several diagnostic tests for coronary disease are uncertain.To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of alternative approaches to diagnosis of coronary disease.Meta-analysis of the accuracy of alternative diagnostic tests plus decision analysis to assess the health outcomes and costs of alternative diagnostic strategies for patients at intermediate pretest risk for coronary disease.Studies of test accuracy that met inclusion criteria; published information on treatment effectiveness and disease prevalence.Men and women 45, 55, and 65 years of age with a 25% to 75% pretest risk for coronary disease.30 years.Societal.Diagnostic strategies were initial angiography and initial testing with one of five noninvasive tests--exercise treadmill testing, planar thallium imaging, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), stress echocardiography, and positron emission tomography (PET)--followed by coronary angiography if noninvasive test results were positive. Testing was followed by observation, medical treatment, or revascularization.Life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs, and costs per QALY.Life expectancy varied little with the initial diagnostic test; for a 55-year-old man, the best-performing test increased life expectancy by 7 more days than the worst-performing test. More sensitive tests increased QALYs more. Echocardiography improved health outcomes and reduced costs relative to stress testing and planar thallium imaging. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $75,000/QALY for SPECT relative to echocardiography and was greater than $640,000 for PET relative to SPECT. Compared with SPECT, immediate angiography had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $94,000/QALY.Qualitative findings varied little with age, sex, pretest probability of disease, or the test indeterminancy rate. Results varied most with sensitivity to severe coronary disease.Echocardiography, SPECT, and immediate angiography are cost-effective alternatives to PET and other diagnostic approaches. Test selection should reflect local variation in test accuracy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000080062300002

    View details for PubMedID 10357690

  • Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of using methotrexate vs Goeckerman therapy for psoriasis - A pilot study ARCHIVES OF DERMATOLOGY Chen, S., Shaheen, A., Garber, A. 1998; 134 (12): 1602-1608


    To analyze the net benefit and cost-effectiveness of methotrexate use and Goeckerman therapy for psoriasis.Net benefit and cost-effectiveness depend on the costs, efficacy, and utilities of therapy. Utilities are quantitative measures of patient preferences. We obtained costs by using resource-based accounting techniques. Efficacy was estimated from literature reports. We surveyed patients with psoriasis, dermatologists, and healthy subjects using utility assessment methods. All assumptions were examined in a sensitivity analysis.For net benefit, if benefits out-weighed the costs, it was deemed worth providing. For the cost-effectiveness analysis, the ratio of costs-to-effectiveness of less than $35,000 was considered cost-effective.Using utilities from healthy nonexperts, the costs of both therapies exceeded the benefits in mild and moderate psoriasis. In severe psoriasis, only methotrexate demonstrates a net benefit. Both therapies were cost-effective compared with no therapy. Liquid methotrexate should be chosen over the tablet form since it was cheaper and had the same outcome. Goeckerman was cost-effective against liquid methotrexate in severe, but not mild or moderate psoriasis. There was a trend for therapies to be more cost-effective when using patient utilities and less with dermatologist utilities. The results were highly sensitive to efficacy and utilities.The results of this study need to be confirmed in other settings, but they demonstrate that the tools of cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis have great potential value in dermatology. Once efficacy is better characterized and utilities better quantified, these types of analyses will be crucial for health care policy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000077622100017

    View details for PubMedID 9875201

  • The effect of search procedures on utility elicitations MEDICAL DECISION MAKING Lenert, L. A., Cher, D. J., Goldstein, M. K., Bergen, M. R., Garber, A. 1998; 18 (1): 76-83


    Elicited preferences for health states vary among scaling methods, manners of describing health states, and other features of the elicitation process. The authors examined the effects of changing the search procedure for a subject's utility on mean utility values.A randomized controlled trial of two search procedures (titration and "ping-pong") using two otherwise identical computer programs that describe health states related to Gaucher's disease, then measuring subjects' preferences.Paid, healthy volunteers recruited from the community through advertisements.The mean time tradeoff (TTO) and standard gamble (SG) utility values for life with severe anemia and splenomegaly and life with chronic bone pain from Gaucher's disease were between 0.10 and 0.15 higher with the titration search procedure than with the ping-pong procedure. Effects of the search procedure were additive with variability due to scaling methods, resulting in mean differences in utility ratings for the same health state of as much as 0.28 among procedures and scaling methods. Effects of search procedures on utility values persisted on repeated testing at week 2 and week 3; there was no evidence of convergence to a single "true" utility value over time.The procedure used to search for subjects' utility values strongly influences the results of preference-assessment experiments. Effects of search procedures persist on repeated testing. The results suggest that utility values are heavily influenced by, if not created during, the process of elicitation. Thus, utility values elicited using different search procedures may not be directly comparable.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000071405300015

    View details for PubMedID 9456212

  • Persistence of Medicare expenditures among elderly beneficiaries Frontiers in Health Policy Research I, MIT Press Garber AM, MaCurdy TE, McClellan MA. 1998
  • Measurement of the validity of utility elicitations performed by computerized interview MEDICAL CARE Lenert, L. A., Morss, S., Goldstein, M. K., Bergen, M. R., Faustman, W. O., Garber, A. M. 1997; 35 (9): 915-920


    The authors evaluate a measure of the validity of utility elicitations and study the potential effects of invalid elicitations on population utility values.The authors used a computerized survey to describe and measure preferences for three common side-effects of anti-psychotic drugs (tardive dyskinesia [TD], akathesia [AKA], pseudo-parkinsonism). The authors compared the validity of elicitations in 41 healthy volunteers to 22 schizophrenic patients. Preferences were measured using visual analog scale (VAS), pair-wise comparison (PWC), and the Standard Gamble (SG) methods. To assess the validity of each groups' responses, the authors compared the consistency of subjects' rank-order of the desirability of states across methods of preferences assessment (CAMPA).All healthy volunteers and 82% of patients completed the computer survey; of these subjects, 97% of healthy volunteers and 70% of patients indicated they thought they understood the task required of them. However, only 78% of healthy subjects and 44% of patients had a consistent rank ordering of preferences among VAS and PWC ratings; only 80% and 61%, respectively, had a consistent rank ordering preferences among SG and PWC ratings. For two of the three health states, inconsistent subjects had statistically higher SG utilities (for TD, 0.94 versus 0.87, and for AKA 0.92 versus 0.86; P < 0.05).The CAMPA test can identify potentially invalid preference ratings. Potentially invalid preference ratings may bias the "population" utilities for health states.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XV88500004

    View details for PubMedID 9298080

  • Mortality, hospital admissions, and medical costs of end-stage renal disease in the United States and Manitoba, Canada MEDICAL CARE Hornberger, J. C., Garber, A. M., Jeffery, J. R. 1997; 35 (7): 686-700


    National registry data suggest that mortality rates among patients with end-stage renal disease are lower in Canada than in the United States. Casemix and treatment variables, although limited in such instances, do not explain this difference. Using a more complete set of casemix and treatment variables from clinical databases, this study assesses mortality, hospital admission, and the cost of medical care for patients with end-stage renal disease treated in Manitoba, Canada and the United States.Mortality rates were compared in patients with end-stage renal disease treated in the Province of Manitoba and a random sample of US patients enrolled in the US Renal Data System Casemix Severity Study. Hospital admission rates and costs of care were compared in Manitoba patients and in patients with end-stage renal disease in a large health care organization in Detroit, Michigan.Levels of serum creatinine, urea, and estimated glomerular filtration rate indicated more severe renal impairment at the outset of treatment in Manitoba than in the United States. Manitoba patients were more than twice as likely to receive kidney transplants as US Renal Data System patients. No patients in Manitoba used reprocessed dialyzers, compared with 57% of US Renal Data System patients. After adjustment for all casemix and treatment variables, the mortality rate was 47% higher in the United States. The hospital admission rate in Detroit was 41% lower than the hospital admission rate in Manitoba, which primarily reflects the doubled rate of transplantation in Manitoba. Adjusted total monthly costs were $503 higher in Detroit than in Manitoba.The higher mortality rates in the United States cannot be fully explained by adjustments for observable casemix or treatment variables. Further research is needed to identify factors that explain how Manitoba achieves a lower mortality rate while paying less for end-stage renal disease care than the United States.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XJ68400003

    View details for PubMedID 9219496

  • Cholesterol screening guidelines - Consensus, evidence, and common sense CIRCULATION Garber, A. M., Browner, W. S. 1997; 95 (6): 1642-1645

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WN57700042

    View details for PubMedID 9118535

  • Cholesterol screening should be targeted. American journal of medicine Garber, A. M. 1997; 102 (2A): 26-30


    For primary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), the American College of Physicians (ACP) has recommended that initial cholesterol screening be targeted to people who have other risk factors in addition to elevated cholesterol. This would include those with symptoms of heart disease, asymptomatic men 35-65 years old and women 45-65 years old, or younger people who have > or = 2 risk factors or who might benefit from treatment for high blood cholesterol. After the age of 75, cholesterol is no longer a risk factor, so there is no rationale for testing. In primary prevention, lipoprotein fractionation should be performed in men and women who have been identified as having elevated blood cholesterol levels, not as part of initial testing. In secondary prevention, some studies indicate that cholesterol reduction may be beneficial after age 65. In asymptomatic younger people without other risk factors, the low prevalence of CHD and rapid response to cholesterol reduction once it is initiated suggest that early screening and treatment are unnecessary. Everyone should adopt the lifestyle modifications conducive to cardiovascular health, but the ACP believes that, for primary prevention, universal screening is neither cost effective nor the best use of the patient's and physician's time.

    View details for PubMedID 9217583

  • Economic foundations of cost-effectiveness analysis JOURNAL OF HEALTH ECONOMICS Garber, A. M., Phelps, C. E. 1997; 16 (1): 1-31


    To address controversies in the applications of cost-effectiveness analysis, we investigate the principles underlying the technique and discuss the implications for the evaluation of medical interventions. Using a standard von Neumann-Morgenstern utility framework, we show how a cost-effectiveness criterion can be derived to guide resource allocation decisions, and how it varies with age, gender, income level, and risk aversion. Although cost-effectiveness analysis can be a useful and powerful tool for resource allocation decisions, a uniform cost-effectiveness criterion that is applied to a heterogeneous population level is unlikely to yield Pareto-optimal resource allocations.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WX30700001

    View details for PubMedID 10167341

  • Health care productivity. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Microeconomics Garber AM., Baily MN 1997: 143-202,
  • Willingness-to-pay utility assessment: Feasibility of use in normative patient decision support systems JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL INFORMATICS ASSOCIATION Flowers, C. R., Garber, A. M., Bergen, M. R., Lenert, L. A. 1997: 223-227


    The authors developed an automated patient interviewing tool to elicit individuals' willingness-to-pay (WTP) utilities under conditions of uncertainty and examined the reliability of this method and its potential usefulness in clinical decision support. We tested this method in 52 healthy volunteers using a computer-based interview that trained subjects in standard gamble (SG) and WTP methods, and elicited preferences for moderate Gaucher disease using WTP and SG. We assessed the validity of the WTP method by calculating the cost-effectiveness threshold implied by subjects' WTP and SG utilities; we also assessed subjects' understanding and comfort with using WTP for decision making by a questionnaire. The WTP method had good test-retest reliability (r = 0.796), and produced a cost-effectiveness ratio and ratings for understanding and clarity that support its validity. Moreover, many subjects felt that WTP was a reasonable (83%) method for therapeutic decision making and expressed comfort (62%) in using the method for their own health care decisions. These results suggest that a probabilistic method for WTP utility assessment is potentially useful for acquiring patient preferences for use in normative decision support systems.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171774300046

    View details for PubMedID 9357621

  • The cost of VA-sponsored research ACADEMIC MEDICINE Barnett, P. G., Garber, A. M. 1996; 71 (10): 1074-1078


    Under pressures to reduce health care costs, clinical income is a shrinking source of support for research. Such pressures also threaten research at the medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA research is particularly vulnerable because medical care appropriations constitute a large, though unknown, source of support. This study measures the medical care component and the total of VA research funds.The incremental costs of VA research were estimated from a survey of 497 clinician investigators and data on payroll, facility costs, and research grants and appropriations.The incremental costs of VA research totaled $541.4 million in the 1992-93 fiscal year. This included $245.6 million in federal appropriations for VA research, $33.1 million in research grants administered by the VA, and $262.8 million in support from other VA appropriations. Research added as much as $219.8 million to VA patient care costs.The VA is adopting strategies to increase the internal payoff of its research. The fiscal constraints facing VA and other academic medical centers mean that they will be able to support research with their own funds only when it benefits them directly.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996VN42600021

    View details for PubMedID 9177641

  • Cholesterol screening in asymptomatic adults, revisited ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Garber, A. M., Browner, W. S., Hulley, S. B. 1996; 124 (5): 518-531


    To assess the role of serum lipid levels as screening tests in adults.Pooled analysis of clinical trials, supplemented by analysis of data from the Framingham Heart Study, to estimate the effect of cholesterol reduction in patient groups stratified by cardiac risk.Published randomized controlled trials of cholesterol reduction, meta-analyses of such trials, prospective cohort studies of the association between cholesterol levels and morbidity and death related to coronary heart disease, and cost-effectiveness analyses of cholesterol reduction.Two-stage logistic regression on cardiac risk factors and outcomes in the Framingham Heart Study. The first stage predicted the risk for death from coronary heart disease using standard risk factors but not cholesterol; the second stage predicted the risk for death from coronary heart disease and all causes as functions of age and cholesterol level, stratified by the risk predicted from the first stage.Randomized clinical trials show that cholesterol reduction confers survival benefits in patients with symptomatic coronary disease. In asymptomatic middle-aged men, who are at lower risk for death from coronary disease, cholesterol reduction prevents coronary disease but has not been shown to prolong life. The risk model based on analysis of the data from the Framingham Heart Study is consistent with the randomized trial data and shows that in the demographic groups excluded from trials, the hypothetical benefits of cholesterol reduction are greatest when the underlying risk for coronary disease is greatest.Screening with total cholesterol levels is most likely to be useful when done in populations at high short-term risk for dying of coronary heart disease, such as survivors of myocardial infarction and middle-aged men with multiple cardiac risk factors. In these populations, cholesterol reduction appears to be both effective and cost-effective. In other populations, the benefits of reduction are much smaller or are uncertain.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996TW77300013

    View details for PubMedID 8602715

  • DEVELOPING AND TESTING A MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION OF A HEALTH-STATE DESCRIPTION MEDICAL DECISION MAKING Goldstein, M. K., Clarke, A. E., Michelson, D., Garber, A. M., Bergen, M. R., Lenert, L. A. 1994; 14 (4): 336-344


    Quality-adjustment weights for health states are an essential component of cost-utility analysis (CUA). Quality-adjustment weights are obtained by presenting large numbers of subjects with multiattribute descriptions of health states for rating. Comprehending multiattribute health states is a difficult task for most respondents. The authors hypothesized that multimedia (MM) presentation using computers might facilitate this task better than would a paper-based text (Text). To test this hypothesis, they developed closely matched MM and Text descriptions of health states in the first-person narrative style, and developed a method of testing the presentation of a health state. Subjects were randomized to exposure to either MM or Text and subject recall of the health state and recognition of features of the health state were tested. How well defined the preferences of the subjects were after each presentation method was assessed by having the subjects mark on a double-anchored visual-analog scale the "best" and "worst" they believed the quality of life in the health state might be. MM subjects had better recall (11.85 vs 9.44 of a total of 24 meaning units, p = 0.098) and better recognition (4.71 vs 4.22, p = 0.08). The average interval between the "best" and "worst" ratings was shorter for the MM subjects (2.19 cm vs 3.26 cm, p = 0.12).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PL43300004

    View details for PubMedID 7528868

  • Is high-flux dialysis cost-effective? International journal of technology assessment in health care Hornberger, J. C., Garber, A. M., Chernew, M. E. 1993; 9 (1): 85-96


    High-flux dialysis is a new method for providing routine-maintenance hemodialysis to patients with end-stage renal disease. It promises to shorten the duration of the dialysis session, but poses potential clinical risks to patients and financial risks to dialysis centers because of the high unit cost of purchasing new dialysis equipment. We retrospectively evaluated the cost-effectiveness of high-flux dialysis compared to conventional dialysis in a hospital-based center. The center provided only conventional dialysis until March 1989, when it initiated high-flux dialysis. The estimated annual costs of treatment were US $31,249 (high-flux) and $32,562 (conventional). The rate of hospital admissions was almost identical in both groups (conventional, 1.29 admissions per year; high-flux, 1.24 admissions per year; p = 0.23). Predicted prolongation of life expectancy with high-flux dialysis was significantly higher after statistical adjustment for observable patient characteristics (1.8 to 4.5 years; p < 0.01). The cost-effectiveness ratio was $28,188 per life-year saved for high-flux compared to conventional dialysis. These findings suggest that the added capital expense of purchasing high-flux equipment can be justified from the perspective of its societal cost-effectiveness.

    View details for PubMedID 8423119



    The use of high-flux dialysis in clinical practice increased rapidly despite an absence of reports on the clinical effectiveness of the technique. Mortality and hospital admission rates of patients treated with high-flux dialysis were evaluated and compared with those of patients treated with conventional dialysis in a hospital-based renal dialysis unit in northern California. By use of a retrospective, cross-over design, 253 patients enrolled in the dialysis unit from January 1987 to January 1991 were studied. During this period, 107 patients were treated with high-flux dialysis for at least 1 month, and all but 17 of them had received conventional dialysis before switching to high-flux dialysis. The remaining 146 patients were treated with only conventional dialysis. Of the 80 patients who died during the study period, 69 were receiving conventional dialysis and 11 were receiving high-flux dialysis. The multivariate analyses, adjusted for age, gender, ethnic background, type of renal failure, comorbid conditions, and duration of ESRD, showed that annual mortality was substantially less for patients treated with high-flux dialysis compared with that for patients treated with conventional dialysis (7 versus 20%; P < 0.001). The difference in the rate of hospital admissions was not statistically significant. In this nonexperimental study, methods were applied to control for selectivity bias and other factors that might confound the apparent treatment effect. The findings suggest that the potential benefits of high-flux dialysis are sufficient to justify further confirmation in a randomized, controlled trial.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992KD27000005

    View details for PubMedID 1477318

  • Creating the costliest orphan. The Orphan Drug Act in the development of Ceredase. International journal of technology assessment in health care Goldman, D. P., Clarke, A. E., Garber, A. M. 1992; 8 (4): 583-597


    The FDA recently approved Ceredase, a new treatment for Gaucher's disease, under the provisions of the Orphan Drug Act. Ceredase is unusually expensive, but there are no satisfactory alternative therapies. It appears likely that Ceredase would not have become available without the protection of the Orphan Drug Act, but its expense and the lack of information about its long-term effects on health raise questions about whether the ODA provides appropriate incentives to develop cost-effective technologies.

    View details for PubMedID 1464480


    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FV30100003

    View details for PubMedID 1885147



    To predict the consequences of cholesterol screening among elderly Americans who do not have symptoms of heart disease, we explore the cost implications of a cholesterol screening program, evaluate evidence linking hypercholesterolemia to coronary heart disease and mortality in the elderly, and describe the likely effects of therapy of hypercholesterolemia. According to our calculations, if all Americans 65 years of age and older adhered to a cholesterol screening program similar to the one proposed by the National Cholesterol Education Program, minimum annual expenditures for screening and treatment would be between $1.6 billion and $16.8 billion, depending on the effectiveness of diet and the cost of the medications used to treat hypercholesterolemia. There is no direct evidence that this program would lessen overall morbidity or extend the lives of elderly Americans.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FQ68100007

    View details for PubMedID 1904212



    New tests promise to facilitate the prenatal detection of cystic fibrosis (CF), a fatal genetic disorder. This study examines the costs and benefits of prenatal screening and selective abortion using two types of tests: those based on restriction fragment-length polymorphisms (RFLPs), which can only be applied when genetic material is available from a CF-affected family member; and those based on probes for the newly discovered CF gene, which can be applied in the general population. When either type is applied in families of CF-affected children, even an expensive test produces substantial net benefits. Existing direct gene probe tests are not sensitive, although eventually they may become less expensive and more accurate than tests based on RFLPs. Even if these tests become highly accurate, the financial benefits of population-wide screening for CF are likely to be small or negative, particularly if testing does not lead to increases in the number of normal children as it decreases the number of births of CF-affected children. Because few children born in families without a history of CF have the disease, tests that are not perfectly specific will produce a large number of false-positive results, leading to the abortion of many normal fetuses.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FK98700007

    View details for PubMedID 1673488


    View details for Web of Science ID A1990DW78700011

    View details for PubMedID 2385272


    View details for Web of Science ID A1989AV75200001

    View details for PubMedID 2802415



    To review the evidence that a resting electrocardiogram (ECG) predicts cardiac disease in healthy persons and to discuss the role of this test in screening for coronary artery disease.A manual search of the English-language literature using Index Medicus (1970-1988) and a bibliographic review of identified articles.We found 40 articles that described long-term survival of healthy individuals who either had had an abnormal finding on a resting ECG or had not had an abnormal finding.We pooled the pertinent studies and calculated the relative risk for coronary artery disease if an ECG finding was present and the 95% confidence limits (CI) on the relative risk. RESULTS OF ANALYSIS: One reason for doing a screening SCG is to detect disease whose effects can be prevented by early treatment. In population studies of healthy middle-aged men, frequent ventricular premature beats, left axis deviation, left ventricular hypertrophy (ECG-LVH), and changes indicative of myocardial ischemia are all associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of dying from coronary artery disease. There is no evidence that early detection of these findings leads to a clinical intervention that improves health outcomes. A screening ECG can also serve as a "baseline" tracing. Two studies have shown that the baseline tracing has little effect on decision making in the emergency room.The evidence does not support doing a screening ECG in men without evidence of cardiac disease or cardiovascular risk factors.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989AQ50700008

    View details for PubMedID 2528311



    Antibiotic use is thought to promote bacterial antibiotic resistance by selectively inhibiting the growth of sensitive strains. This study investigates the relation between antibiotic use and the propagation of antibiotic-resistant hospital-acquired infections due to gram-negative bacteria in a population of hospitalized patients. It treats infection spread and hospital mortality as a Markov process, in which the transition probabilities are logistic functions of a set of personal and hospital characteristics. Data from a university hospital are used to derive the parameters of the model.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989AQ54000007

    View details for PubMedID 2790122



    From our review of the epidemiologic and clinical literature, we have developed recommendations for using the serum cholesterol test as a component of strategies to prevent coronary heart disease in asymptomatic adults. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein levels are risk factors for coronary disease and early mortality in middle-aged men. Weaker evidence suggests that hypercholesterolemia increases the risk for coronary disease in women or elderly men, or that hypertriglyceridemia increases the risk in men or women. A reduction in cholesterol levels lowers the incidence of and the mortality from coronary disease in asymptomatic, hypercholesterolemic, middle-aged men, but has not been shown to reduce overall mortality. The efficacy of treatment in women and elderly persons has not been studied. Screening and treatment plans should be individualized; a 5-year period between tests is adequate for asymptomatic, low-risk men, whereas more frequent testing is appropriate for high-risk men. Screening is optional for women and elderly persons.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989U180100010

    View details for PubMedID 2648923



    To predict the effects of using exercise testing to screen healthy persons for coronary artery disease.The publications of the Coronary Artery Surgery Study were the principal sources of data for the cost-effectiveness analysis; we also used data from the Veterans Administration Cooperative Study of stable angina and the publications of the European Coronary Surgery Study Group.We used studies that provided the data that our decision model required--life expectancy and probabilities of outcomes in persons who have or do not have coronary artery disease.We did not use a structured method for abstracting data. We tested the susceptibility of our conclusions to poor quality of data by substituting a wide range of values for a variable in the decision model, and by calculating life expectancy and costs if screening was used routinely or not used.We assumed that persons with an abnormal exercise test would have arteriography and that persons with severe coronary artery disease would have bypass surgery. When there were no suitable published data for the model, we made assumptions that favored screening. The model predicts that screening would increase the life expectancy of 60-year-old men at average risk by at most 12 days. Sixty-year-old men with no risk factors for coronary artery disease would derive less benefit, as would women and younger men.The effect of exercise testing is too small to justify doing this procedure routinely in healthy persons. If coronary bypass surgery is found to prolong life in asymptomatic persons as much as it does in angina pectoris, screening older men with risk factors for coronary artery disease may prove to be worthwhile.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989T721500009

    View details for PubMedID 2493211


    View details for Web of Science ID A1988N072800012

    View details for PubMedID 3127455



    Antibiotic use is often blamed for increases in the prevalence of infections due to antibiotic-resistance bacteria. This paper clarifies the effects of antibiotic exposure on bacterial antibiotic resistance by developing models that describe the growth of competing bacterial strains whose antibiotic sensitivities differ. The analysis generalizes logistic growth models to include first-order growth parameters that are arbitrary functions of antibiotic levels. It derives closed-form solutions for population size, composition, and average antibiotic sensitivities as functions of antibiotic exposure. Strategies to minimize the bacterial population size are analyzed in the context of the model. These heuristic models explore in formal terms the population dynamics thought to underlie resistance development.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987L357200002

    View details for PubMedID 3433231

Conference Proceedings

  • Evaluating the federal role in financing health-related research Garber, A. M., Romer, P. M. NATL ACAD SCIENCES. 1996: 12717-12724


    This paper considers the appropriate role for government in the support of scientific and technological progress in health care; the information the federal government needs to make well-informed decisions about its role; and the ways that federal policy toward research and development should respond to scientific advances, technology trends, and changes in the political and social environment. The principal justification for government support of research rests upon economic characteristics that lead private markets to provide inappropriate levels of research support or to supply inappropriate quantities of the products that result from research. The federal government has two basic tools for dealing with these problems: direct subsidies for research and strengthened property rights that can increase the revenues that companies receive for the products that result from research. In the coming years, the delivery system for health care will continue to undergo dramatic changes, new research opportunities will emerge at a rapid pace, and the pressure to limit discretionary federal spending will intensify. These forces make it increasingly important to improve the measurement of the costs and benefits of research and to recognize the tradeoffs among alternative policies for promoting innovation in health care.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996VT05400010

    View details for PubMedID 8917484

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