The cost of tuberculosis: Utilization and estimated charges for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in a public health system

R. Wurtz, W. D. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Setting: An urban tuberculosis (TB) control program. Objective: The use of medical services was analyzed from diagnosis through completion of treatment for TB patients in a public health system in order to estimate charges and service utilization. Design: The in- and out-patient medical records, including long term care and jail health service records, were retrospectively reviewed for the first 100 patients diagnosed with TB in 1993 at a public hospital. Because the hospital did not have a cost-accounting system, charges were estimated based on a variety of sources. Results: Complete records were available for 92 patients; one outlier was excluded. The resulting 91 patients represented 11% of newly diagnosed patients in Chicago in 1993. Overall, almost 99% of the charges reflected in-patient (acute and long term care) utilization. Total charges of $3 154 583 represent the charges to complete therapy for only 46 patients, or $68 578 per completed case. Conclusions: This study attempts to overcome the limitations of aggregate data sets by looking at individual patients followed longitudinally through a complex public health system. Expensive in-patient care may be partially, but not completely, replaced by directly observed therapy. The findings may be used to predict resource utilization for diagnosis and treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-387
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Volume3
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1999

Keywords

  • Health care costs
  • Public hospitals
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tuberculosis pulmonary/economics

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