PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the costs of implementing coordinated systems of stroke care by state health departments from 2012 through 2015 to help policy makers and planners gain a sense of the potential return on investments in establishing a stroke care quality improvement (QI) program.
INTERVENTION APPROACH: State health departments funded by the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program (PCNASP) implemented activities to support the start and proficient use of hospital stroke registries statewide and coordinate data-driven QI efforts. These efforts were aimed at improving the treatment and transition of stroke patients from prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) to in-hospital care and postacute care facilities. Health departments provided technical assistance and data to support hospitals, EMS agencies, and posthospital care agencies to carry out small, rapid, incremental QI efforts to produce more effective and efficient stroke care practices.
EVALUATION METHODS: Six of the 11 PCNASP-funded state health departments in the United States volunteered to collect and report programmatic costs associated with implementing the components of stroke systems of care. Six health departments reported costs paid directly by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-provided funds, 5 also reported their own in-kind contributions, and 4 compiled data from a sample of their partners' estimated costs of resources, such as staff time, involved in program implementation. Costs were analyzed separately for PCNASP-funded expenditures and in-kind contributions by the health department by resource category and program activity. In-kind contributions by partners were also analyzed separately.
RESULTS: PCNASP-funded expenditures ranged from $790,123 to $1,298,160 across the 6 health departments for the 3-year funding period. In-kind contributions ranged from $5,805 to $1,394,097. Partner contributions (n = 22) ranged from $3,912 to $362,868.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Our evaluation reports costs for multiple state health departments and their partners for implementing components of stroke systems of care in the United States. Although there are limitations, our findings represent key estimates that can guide future program planning and efforts to achieve sustainability.