Population-based return on investment of deploying transient elastography

Mazen Noureddin, Andrew Mackenzie, Elaine Zhao, Scott C. Howell, Michael Tunkelrott, Ian Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the cost savings outcomes, from the payer’s perspective, of deploying vibration-controlled transient elastography/controlled attenuation parameter (VCTE/CAP) machines for detecting and monitoring fatty liver disease (FLD). STUDY DESIGN: We modeled disease transitions and costs under the current observed pathway and under an alternative pathway in which VCTE/CAP devices are adopted. Marginal savings (or costs) due to implementing the device are derived by comparing the aggregate costs between the 2 pathways. Sources of potential savings are 2-fold. First, VCTE/CAP tests result in early identification of patients with FLD (the majority are currently undiagnosed), allowing for proactive intervention and behavior change to slow the progression of disease in these patients. Second, VCTE/ CAP tests can reduce the aggregate volume of some current diagnosis methods, such as liver biopsy, imaging, and laboratory work. METHODS: Our model relied on administrative claims data consisting of 5 million commercial members and 3 million Medicare members to inform baseline statistics on disease prevalence, health care cost and utilization, and disease progression associated with different severities of liver disease. We consulted expert clinical opinion and medical literature to inform our assumptions related to device adoption and use. RESULTS: Scenario testing demonstrated positive net savings within 2 to 3 years after device deployment. Across a 5-year time span, we estimate net savings up to $2.64 per member per month (PMPM) for Medicare payers and up to $1.91 PMPM for commercial payers. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that deploying VCTE/CAP devices is a financially advantageous solution to address the epidemic of FLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-381
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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