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A case study on reviewing specialist services commissioning in Wales: TAVI for Severe Aortic Stenosis

Ryczek, Edyta, Peirce, Susan C., Knight, Laura, Cleves, Andrew, Champion, Andrew, Doull, Iolo and Lewis, Sian 2022. A case study on reviewing specialist services commissioning in Wales: TAVI for Severe Aortic Stenosis. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 20 (4) , pp. 487-499. 10.1007/s40258-021-00692-y

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The Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) is responsible for planning, commissioning and funding specialised healthcare in Wales. Investment in new technologies or services is based on clinical and economic evidence, using a consistent and transparent process. This is accomplished in three stages. The first stage is the preparation of a rapid evidence review. This then informs the development or update of the relevant Commissioning Policy. The final stage is to prioritise the Commissioning Policy recommendations against all other new services and interventions, to inform WHSSC’s annual commissioning intentions. In 2017, a review was conducted of the WHSSC Commissioning Policy for transcatheter aortic valve implantation for severe aortic stenosis. Prior to this only high-risk patients were eligible for transcatheter aortic valve implantation. The rapid evidence review identified three randomised controlled trials and two economic analyses relevant to the decision problem. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation was generally found to be more expensive and more effective than medical management or surgical aortic valve replacement, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios around £10,500–£36,000 for inoperable groups and £17,000–£24,000 in high-risk groups. The rapid evidence review, expert advice and stakeholder feedback informed the revision process of the Commissioning Policy for transcatheter aortic valve implantation. This recommended the addition of patients unsuitable for surgical aortic valve replacement and the removal of explicit risk scoring. This recommendation was subject to the prioritisation process (carried out annually). The updated transcatheter aortic valve implantation recommendation was ranked second out of 23 technologies and services competing for additional WHSSC funding. The WHSSC Integrated Commissioning Plan for specialised services in Wales (2019) therefore included funding to support the new criteria for transcatheter aortic valve implantation treatment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1175-5652
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 June 2022
Date of Acceptance: 21 October 2021
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 14:00

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