A Cost Analysis of Tuberculosis and its Prevention in Tarrant County, Texas

Thaddeus L. Miller M.P.H., University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth

Abstract

Miller, Thaddeus L. A Cost Analysis of Tuberculosis and its Prevention in Tarrant County, Texas. Doctor of Public Health (Health Management and Policy), May 2007, 232 pp., 29 tables, 2 illustrations, bibliography, 274 titles. Tuberculosis cost has been incompletely described as the cost arising from acute illness and treatment. The societal cost of tuberculosis arises from infection, suspicion of infection, acute and preventive responses, the sequalae of illness (including acute morbidity, drug induced hepatitis, mortality, and disability), and the compounding effects of transmission. This societal cost in unknown however the variable portion of this cost is equivalent to the savings made possible by averting tuberculosis, This study measured the societal cost of tuberculosis in Tarrant County, Texas, for the year 2002. Societal costs were estimated as the sum of known or estimated expenditures and health losses related to tuberculosis and discounted at 3%. Current and future costs will accrue to an estimated net $33.9 2002 USD million for the year 2002 in Tarrant County, Texas. An average of 1.4 QALYs net of 3% social discount were lost per incident case. The greatest burdens of tuberculosis, when analyzed by either cost or health quality, can be averted only by case prevention. Forty-three and 44% of societal cost was generate by secondary transmission and chronic impairment associated with pulmonary tuberculosis. Neither factor is routinely considered in discussions of tuberculosis cost. Acute treatment, hospitalization and direct medical care account for only 2.4% of societal cost. Any intervention that prevents one tuberculosis case will prevent at least a net $295,182 (2002 USD) and individual health quality losses averaging 1.4 net QALYs.