Alcoholism treatment and medical care costs from Project MATCH

TitleAlcoholism treatment and medical care costs from Project MATCH
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsHolder, HD, Cisler, RA, Longabaugh, R, Stout, RL, Treno, AJ, Zweben, A
Date PublishedJul
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0965-2140 (Print)0965-2140 (Linking)
Accession Number10962766
KeywordsAdult, Alcoholism/*economics/therapy, Ambulatory Care/*economics, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Female, Health Care Costs, Hospitalization/*economics, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Patient Selection, Prognosis

AIMS: This paper examines the costs of medical care prior to and following initiation of alcoholism treatment as part of a study of patient matching to treatment modality. DESIGN: Longitudinal study with pre- and post-treatment initiation. MEASUREMENTS: The total medical care costs for inpatient and outpatient treatment for patients participating over a span of 3 years post-treatment. SETTING: Three treatment sites at two of the nine Project MATCH locations (Milwaukee, WI and Providence, RI). PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and seventy-nine patients. INTERVENTION: Patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatment modalities: a 12-session cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a four-session motivational enhancement therapy (MET) or a 12-session Twelve-Step facilitation (TSF) treatment over 12 weeks. FINDINGS: Total medical care costs declined from pre- to post-treatment overall and for each modality. Matching effects independent of clinical prognosis showed that MET has potential for medical-care cost-savings. However, patients with poor prognostic characteristics (alcohol dependence, psychiatric severity and/or social network support for drinking) have better cost-savings potential with CBT and/or TSF. CONCLUSIONS: Matching variables have significant importance in increasing the potential for medical-care cost-reductions following alcoholism treatment.

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