Hospital production cost of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the treatment of depression

Hospital production cost of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the treatment of depression

Article Date: 2018-11-27 (Revised: 2019-02-01)
Authors: Sauvaget A, Tostivint A, Etcheverrigaray F, Pichot A, Dert C, Schirr-Bonnais S, Clouet J, Sellal O, Mauduit N, Leux C, Cabelguen C, Bulteau S, Riche VP
PMID Link: 30502122

Journal Information
Title: Neurophysiologie clinique = Clinical neurophysiology
Abbreviation: Neurophysiol Clin
Volume: 49
Issue: 1
Date: 2019-02-01
Citation: Neurophysiol Clin 2019 Feb;49(1):11-18


OBJECTIVES: Due to its ease of use, tolerance, and cost of acquisition, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could constitute a credible therapeutic option for non-resistant depression in primary care, when combined with drug management. This indication has yet to receive official recognition in France. The objective of this study is to evaluate the production cost of tDCS for the treatment of depression in hospitals, under realistic conditions.

METHODS: The methodology adopted is based on cost accounting and was validated by a multidisciplinary working group. It includes equipment, staff, and structural costs to obtain the most realistic estimate possible. We first estimated the cost of producing a tDCS session, based on our annual activity objective, and then estimated the cost of a 15-session treatment program. This was followed up with a sensitivity analysis applying appropriate parameters.

RESULTS: The hospital production cost of a tDCS depression treatment program for a single patient was estimated at €1555.60 euros: €99 in equipment costs, €1076.95 in staff costs, and €379.65 in structural costs.

CONCLUSION: This cost analysis should make it possible to draw up pricing proposals in compliance with regulations and health policy choices and to develop health-economic studies. This would ultimately lead to official recognition of tDCS treatment for depression in France and pave the way for studying various scenarios of coverage by the French national health insurance system.

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