Remote Care Costs for Congestive Heart Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials in the United States Comparing Remote Versus More Intensive Care Settings


Address for correspondence: Jeffrey Voigt, 99 Glenwood Road, Ridgewood, NJ



It has been assumed that less intense levels of care for managing heart failure result in a lowering of the overall costs for this care in the United States. The objective of this review was to determine whether this assumption is correct. A systematic review was performed using Medline, technology assessment Web sites, and relevant cardiovascular and heart failure journals from the year 2000 to the present. US randomized controlled trials where costs were evaluated as one of the endpoints were included. Data were collected using Cochrane Review characteristics of included studies and risk of bias assessment forms. Cost data from each trial were converted to a uniform cost definition and year. Meta-analysis was performed where appropriate. Ten trials were identified evaluating costs at various time points (3, 6, and 12 months). Meta-analysis of trials demonstrated no difference in costs for care, no matter the patient condition or settings. In high-quality trials examining costs, there may be a shifting in costs from more expensive care settings to less expensive care settings without savings to the healthcare system. Larger and longer-term trials should be undertaken to understand this issue.