Cost-effectiveness of public caseload midwifery compared to standard care in an Australian setting: A pragmatic analysis to inform service delivery

Emily J. Callander, Valerie Slavin, Jenny Gamble, Deera K. Creedy, Hazel Brittain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Decision-makers need quantifiable data on costs and outcomes to determine the optimal mix of antenatal models of care to offer. This study aimed to examine the cost utility of a publicly funded Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) caseload model of care compared to other models of care and demonstrate the feasibility of conducting such an analysis to inform service decision-making. Objective: To provide a methodological framework to determine the value of public midwifery in different settings. Methods: Incremental costs and incremental utility (health gains measured in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)) of public MGP caseload were compared to other models of care currently offered at a large tertiary hospital in Australia. Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Global Short Form scores were converted into utility values by mapping to the EuroQol 5 dimensions and then converting to QALYs. Costs were assessed from a health system funder's point of view. Results: There were 85 women in the public MGP caseload care group and 72 received other models of care. Unadjusted total mean cost for mothers' and babies' health service use from study entry to 12 months post-partum was $27 618 for MGP caseload care and $33 608 for other models of care. After adjusting for clinical and demographic differences between groups, total costs were 22% higher (cost ratio: 1.218, P = 0.04) for other models of maternity care. When considering costs to all funders, public MGP caseload care cost $5208 less than other models of care. There was no significant difference in QALY between the two groups (difference: 0.010, 95% CI: -0.038, 0.018). Conclusion: Public MGP caseload care costs 22% less than other models of care, after accounting for differences in baseline characteristics between groups. There were no significant differences in QALYs. Public MGP caseload care produced comparable health outcomes, with some indication that outcomes may be better for lower cost per woman.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermzab084
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Society for Quality in Health Care. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


  • caseload
  • cost-effectiveness
  • incremental costs
  • incremental utility
  • maternal outcomes
  • maternity models
  • Midwifery Group Practice
  • quality-adjusted life years

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost-effectiveness of public caseload midwifery compared to standard care in an Australian setting: A pragmatic analysis to inform service delivery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this