Calculating the return on investment of mobile healthcare


Publication: BMC Medicine

Mobile health clinics offer alternative sources of care for people who face barriers to accessing the traditional healthcare system due to trust, language, immigration status, or location. Despite the value mobile health clinics provide to vulnerable populations, there are few evaluations of the relative value of mobile health clinics. This return-on-investment algorithm investigates whether the value of mobile health services can be quantified in terms of quality adjusted life years saved and estimated emergency department expenditures avoided. This study finds that the annual cost savings for The Family Van mobile clinic in 2008 from preventing emergency room visits as well as the relative value of providing seven of the top 25 priority prevention services was over twenty million dollars with a return on investment of 36:1.