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Cost-Effectiveness of One-Time Universal Screening for Chronic Hepatitis B Infection in Adults in the United States.

Abstract

We used a Markov model to calculate the costs, population health impact and cost-effectiveness of one-time universal screening and CHB monitoring and treatment compared to current practice. Sensitivity analysis was performed on model parameters to identify thresholds for cost-savings or cost-effectiveness based on willinness-to-pay of $50,000/QALY . The analysis assumed testing would be performed during routine healthcare visits, and generic tenofovir or entecavir would be dispensed for treatment. Testing costs were based on Medicare reimbursement rates.

Universal HBsAg screening of adults in the US general population for CHB is cost-effective and likely cost-saving compared to current CHB screening recommendations.

An estimated 862,000 to 2.4 million people have chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB). Left undiagnosed and untreated CHB increases risk of death from liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis B screening is recommended for pregnant women and populations with increased CHB risk, but diagnosis rates remain low with only 33% of people with CHB aware of their infection.. This study aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of universal adult screening for CHB.

At an estimated 0.24% prevalence of undiagnosed CHB, universal HBsAg screening in adults 18-69 years old is cost-saving compared with current practice if antiviral treatment drug costs remain below $894 per year. Compared with current practice, universal screening would avert an additional 7.4 cases of compensated cirrhosis, 3.3 cases of decompensated cirrhosis, 5.5 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma, 1.9 liver transplants, and 10.3 HBV related deaths at a savings of $263,000 per 100,000 adults screened.

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