Programmatic Costs of the Telehealth Ostomy Self-Management Training: An Application of Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing

Zuleyha Cidav, Steven Marcus, David Mandell, Mark C. Hornbrook, Julia J. Mo, Virginia Sun, Elizabeth Ercolano, Christopher S. Wendel, Ronald S. Weinstein, Michael J. Holcomb, Marcia Grant, Matthew Rock, Robert S. Krouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: Programmatic cost assessment of novel clinical interventions can inform their widespread dissemination and implementation. This study aimed to determine the programmatic costs of a telehealth Ostomy Self-Management Training (OSMT) intervention for cancer survivors using Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC) methodology. Methods: We demonstrated a step-by-step application of TDABC based on a process map with core OSMT intervention activities and associated procedures and determined resource use and costs, per unit procedure. We also assessed per-patient costs from a payer perspective and provided estimates of total hours and costs by personnel, activity, and procedure. Results: The per-patient cost of the OSMT was $1758. Personnel time accounted for 91% of the total cost. Site supervisor and information technology technician time were the most expensive personnel resources. Telehealth technical and communication equipment accounted for 8% of the total cost. Intervention coordination and monitoring efforts represented most of the total time cost (62%), followed by the intervention delivery (35%). The procedures with the highest cost were communication via phone or virtual meetings (24%), email exchanges (18%), and telehealth session delivery (18%). Conclusions: Future efforts to replicate, disseminate, and implement the OSMT intervention should anticipate funding for nonclinical components of the intervention, including coordination and monitoring, and consider how these activities can be performed most efficiently. For institutions without established telemedicine programs, selection of videoconferencing platforms and adequate staffing for participant technical support should be considered. Our step-by-step application of TDABC serves as a case study demonstrating how interventionists can gather data on resource use and costs of intervention activities concurrently with their collection of trial data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1253
Number of pages9
JournalValue in Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Ostomy Self-Management Training
  • Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing
  • cost assessment
  • programmatic costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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