Estimating The Potential Cost Savings From The New York University Caregiver Intervention In Minnesota
Author: Kirsten Hall Long, James P. Moriarty, Mary S. Mittelman, Steven S. Foldes
No therapies are known to substantially alter the course of dementia and associated treatment costs. However, enhanced support services for caregivers of people with dementia have been shown to improve caregivers’ capabilities and well-being and delay patients’ institutionalization. Using a model that simulated disease progression, place of residence, and direct costs of care, we estimated the potential savings to Minnesota from offering the New York University Caregiver Intervention, a program of enhanced support services for spouse and adult child caregivers of community-dwelling people with dementia, to all eligible people in the state from 2010 to 2025. Results indicate that approximately 5 percent more people with dementia would remain in the community from year 3 (2013) on and that 19.3 percent fewer people with dementia would die in institutions over fifteen years. During those years Minnesota could save $996 million in direct care costs (with a range of nearly $100 million to $2.64 billion under worst- and best-case scenarios, respectively). These findings suggest that broader access to enhanced caregiver supports could produce a positive return on investment or be cost-effective—assuming widespread implementation, reasonable program costs, and substantial caregiver participation.