A budget impact analysis of cost to implement a whole child health focused, family-based intervention in primary care for children with elevated BMI

Alexandra Harris, Neil Jordan, Allison J. Carroll, Andrea K. Graham, Charlton Wilson, Fernando A. Wilson, Cady Berkel, Justin D. Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although the cost of implementing evidence-based interventions (EBIs) is a key determinant of adoption, lack of cost information is widespread. We previously evaluated the cost of preparing to implement Family Check-Up 4 Health (FCU4Health), an individually tailored, evidence-based parenting program that takes a whole child approach, with effects on both behavioral health and health behavior outcomes, in primary care settings. This study estimates the cost of implementation, including preparation. Methods: We assessed the cost of FCU4Health across the preparation and implementation phases spanning 32 months and 1 week (October 1, 2016–June 13, 2019) in a type 2 hybrid effectiveness-implementation study. This family-level randomized controlled trial took place in Arizona with n = 113 predominantly low-income, Latino families with children ages > 5.5 to < 13 years. Using electronic cost capture and time-based activity-driven methods, budget impact analysis from the perspective of a future FCU4Health adopting entity—namely, ambulatory pediatric care clinicians—was used to estimate the cost of implementation. Labor costs were based on 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, NIH-directed salary cap levels or known salaries, plus fringe benefits at a standard rate of 30%. Non-labor costs were based on actual amounts spent from receipts and invoices. Results: The cost of FCU4Health implementation to 113 families was $268,886 ($2380 per family). Actual per family cost varied widely, as individual tailoring resulted in families receiving a range of 1–15 sessions. The estimated cost of replicating implementation for future sites ranged from $37,636-$72,372 ($333–$641 per family). Using our previously reported preparation costs (i.e., $174,489; $1544 per family), with estimated replication costs of $18,524–$21,836 ($164–$193 per family), the total cost of delivering FCU4Health was $443,375 ($3924 per family), with total estimated replication costs of $56,160–$94,208 ($497-$834 per family). Conclusions: This study provides a baseline for costs associated with implementation of an individually tailored parenting program. Results provide critical information for decision makers and a model for future economic analysis and can be used to inform optimization thresholds for implementation and, when necessary, benchmarks for program adaptation to promote scale-up. Trial registration: This trial was prospectively registered on January 6, 2017, at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03013309).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59
JournalImplementation Science Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Behavioral health
  • Coordinated care
  • Family Check-up 4 Health
  • Hybrid trial
  • Integrated care
  • Pediatric
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Population health
  • Primary care
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics


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