BACKGROUND: Smoking cessation represents an opportunity to reduce both short and long-term effects of smoking on complications after lumbar fusion and smoking-related morbidity and mortality. However, the cost-effectiveness of smoking-cessation interventions prior to lumbar fusion is not fully known.METHODS: We created a decision-analytic Markov model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of 5 smoking-cessation strategies (behavioral counseling, nicotine replacement therapy [NRT], bupropion or varenicline monotherapy, and a combined intervention) prior to single-level, instrumented lumbar posterolateral fusion (PLF) from the health payer perspective. Probabilities, costs, and utilities were obtained from published sources. We calculated the costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) associated with each strategy over multiple time horizons and accounted for uncertainty with probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSAs) consisting of 10,000 second-order Monte Carlo simulations.RESULTS: Every smoking-cessation intervention was more effective and less costly than usual care at the lifetime horizon. In the short term, behavioral counseling, NRT, varenicline monotherapy, and the combined intervention were also cost-saving, while bupropion monotherapy was more effective but more costly than usual care. The mean lifetime cost savings for behavioral counseling, NRT, bupropion monotherapy, varenicline monotherapy, and the combined intervention were $3,291 (standard deviation [SD], $868), $2,571 (SD, $479), $2,851 (SD, $830), $6,767 (SD, $1,604), and $34,923 (SD, $4,248), respectively. The minimum efficacy threshold (relative risk for smoking cessation) for lifetime cost savings varied from 1.01 (behavioral counseling) to 1.15 (varenicline monotherapy). A PSA revealed that the combined smoking-cessation intervention was always more effective and less costly than usual care.CONCLUSIONS: Even brief smoking-cessation interventions yield large short-term and long-term cost savings. Smoking-cessation interventions prior to PLF can both reduce costs and improve patient outcomes as health payers/systems shift toward value-based reimbursement (e.g., bundled payments) or population health models.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Economic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
View details for DOI 10.2106/JBJS.20.00393
View details for PubMedID 33038088