Cost-effectiveness of implementing a suicide prediction tool (OxMIS) in severe mental illness: Economic modeling study
Botchway, S., Tsiachristas, A., Pollard, J, & Fazel, S.
Background: Cost-effectiveness analysis needs to be considered when introducing new tools and treatments to clinical services. The number of new assessment tools in mental health has rapidly expanded, including suicide risk assessment. Such suicide-based assessments, when linked to preventative interventions, are integral to high-quality mental health care for people with severe mental illness (SMI). We examined the cost implications of implementing Oxford Mental Illness and Suicide (OxMIS), an evidence-based, scalable suicide risk assessment tool that provides probabilistic estimates of suicide risk over 12 months for people with SMI in England. Methods: We developed a decision analytic model using secondary data to estimate the potential cost-effectiveness of incorporating OxMIS into clinical decision-making in secondary care as compared to usual care. Cost-effectiveness was measured in terms of costs per quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained. Uncertainty was addressed with deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis. Results: Conducting suicide risk assessment with OxMIS was potentially cheaper than clinical risk assessment alone by £250 (95% confidence interval, −786;31) to £599 (−1,321;−156) (in 2020–2021 prices) per person with SMI and associated with a small increase in quality of life (0.01 [−0.03;0.05] to 0.01 QALY, [−0.04;0.07]). The estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of implementing OxMIS was cost saving. Using probabilistic sensitivity analysis, 99.96% of 10,000 simulations remained cost saving. Conclusion: Cost-effectiveness analysis can be conducted on risk prediction models. Implementing one such model that focuses on suicide risk in a high-risk population can lead to cost savings and improved health outcomes, especially if explicitly linked to preventative treatments.