1Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of rapid hepatitis C virus (HCV) and simultaneous HCV/HIV antibody testing in substance abuse treatment programs.
We used a decision analytic model to compare the cost-effectiveness of no HCV testing referral or offer, off-site HCV testing referral, on-site rapid HCV testing offer, and on-site rapid HCV and HIV testing offer. Base case inputs included 11% undetected chronic HCV, 0.4% undetected HIV, 35% HCV co-infection among HIV-infected, 53% linked to HCV care after testing antibody positive, and 67% linked to HIV care. Disease outcomes were estimated from established computer simulation models of HCV (HEP-CE) and HIV (CEPAC).
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:
Data on test acceptance and costs were from a national randomized trial of HIV testing strategies conducted at 12 substance abuse treatment programs in the USA.
Lifetime costs (2011 US dollars) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) discounted at 3% annually; incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) FINDINGS: On-site rapid HCV testing had an ICER of $18,300/QALY compared with no testing, and was more efficient than (dominated) off-site HCV testing referral. On-site rapid HCV and HIV testing had an ICER of $64,500/QALY compared with on-site rapid HCV testing alone. In one and two-way sensitivity analyses, the ICER of on-site rapid HCV and HIV testing remained <$100,000/QALY, except when undetected HIV prevalence was <0.1% or when we assumed frequent HIV testing elsewhere. The ICER remained <$100,000/QALY in approximately 90% of probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
On-site rapid hepatitis C virus and HIV testing in substance abuse treatment programs is cost-effective at a <$100,000/ quality-adjusted life years threshold.