Background: Health care systems and physicians need to conform to budgets and streamline resources to provide cost-effective quality care. Although endoscopic tympanoplasty (ET) has been performed for decades, no studies on the cost-effectiveness of ET and microscopic tympanoplasty (MT) for treating chronic otitis media have been published. The present study aimed to compare the cost-effectiveness of ET and MT for treating chronic otitis media. Methods: This study was performed using a Cohort-style Markov decision-tree economic model with a 30-year time horizon. The economic perspective was that of a third-party payer (Taiwan National Health Insurance System). Two treatment strategies were compared, namely ET and MT. The primary outcome was the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). Probabilities were obtained from meta-analyses. Costs were obtained from the published literature and Taiwan National Health Insurance System database. Multiple sensitivity analyses were performed to account for data uncertainty. Results: The reference case revealed that the total cost of ET was $NT 20,901 for 17.08 QALY per patient. By contrast, the total cost of MT was $NT 21,171 for 17.15 QALY per patient. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio for ET versus that of MT was $NT 3703 per QALY. The cost-effectiveness acceptability curve indicated that ET was comparable to MT at a willingness-to-pay threshold of larger than $NT 35,000 per QALY. Conclusion: This cost-effectiveness analysis indicates that ET is comparable to MT for treating chronic otitis media in Taiwan. This result provides the latest information for physicians, the government, and third-party payers to select proper clinical practice.
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