Cost-effectiveness of strategies to improve HIV testing and receipt of results: economic analysis of a randomized controlled trial

Sanders, Gillian D.; Anaya, Henry D.; Asch, Steven; Hoang, Tuyen; Golden, Joya F.; Bayoumi, Ahmed M.; Owens, Douglas K.
June 2010
JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine;Jun2010, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p556
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: The CDC recommends routine voluntary HIV testing of all patients 13-64 years of age. Despite this recommendation, HIV testing rates are low even among those at identifiable risk, and many patients do not return to receive their results.Objective: To examine the costs and benefits of strategies to improve HIV testing and receipt of results.Design: Cost-effectiveness analysis based on a Markov model. Acceptance of testing, return rates, and related costs were derived from a randomized trial of 251 patients; long-term costs and health outcomes were derived from the literature. SETTING/TARGET POPULATION: Primary-care patients with unknown HIV status.Interventions: Comparison of three intervention models for HIV counseling and testing: Model A = traditional HIV counseling and testing; Model B = nurse-initiated routine screening with traditional HIV testing and counseling; Model C = nurse-initiated routine screening with rapid HIV testing and streamlined counseling.Main Measures: Life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs and incremental cost-effectiveness.Key Results: Without consideration of the benefit from reduced HIV transmission, Model A resulted in per-patient lifetime discounted costs of $48,650 and benefits of 16.271 QALYs. Model B increased lifetime costs by $53 and benefits by 0.0013 QALYs (corresponding to 0.48 quality-adjusted life days). Model C cost $66 more than Model A with an increase of 0.0018 QALYs (0.66 quality-adjusted life days) and an incremental cost-effectiveness of $36,390/QALY. When we included the benefit from reduced HIV transmission, Model C cost $10,660/QALY relative to Model A. The cost-effectiveness of Model C was robust in sensitivity analyses.Conclusions: In a primary-care population, nurse-initiated routine screening with rapid HIV testing and streamlined counseling increased rates of testing and receipt of test results and was cost-effective compared with traditional HIV testing strategies.


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