Integrating hepatitis B care and treatment with existing HIV services is possible: cost of integrated HIV and hepatitis B treatment in a low-resource setting: a cross-sectional hospital-based cost-minimisation assessment
Ejalu, David Livingstone
Mutyoba, Joan N
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Hepatitis B and HIV care share health system challenges in the implementation of primary prevention, screening, early linkage to care, monitoring of therapeutic success and long-term medication adherence. Setting was Arua regional referral hospital (RRH) and Koboko district hospital (DH), the West Nile region of Uganda. The research design used was a cross-sectional hospital-based cost minimisation study from the providers’ perspective considers financial costs to measure the amount of money spent on resources used in the stand-alone and integrated pathways. Data sources were clinic inputs and procurement invoices, budgetary documents, open market information and expert opinion. Data were extracted from 3121 files of HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) monoinfected patients from the two study sites. The objective was to estimate provider costs associated with running an integrated HBV and HIV clinical pathway for patients on lifelong treatment in low-resource setting in Uganda. The outcome measures were the annual cost per patient was simulated based on the total amount of resources spent for all the expected number of patient visits to the facility for HBV or HIV care per year. Findings showed that Arua hospital had a higher cost per patient in both clinics than did Koboko Hospital. The cost per HBV patient was US$163.59 in Arua and US$145.76 in Koboko while the cost per HIV patient was US$176.52 in Arua and US$173.23 in Koboko. The integration resulted in a total saving of US$36.73 per patient per year in Arua RRH and US$17.5 in Koboko DH. In conclusion, the application of the integrated Pathway in HIV and HBV patient management could improve hospital cost efficiency compared with operating stand-alone clinics.