University of Cincinnati researchers are reporting it could be cost-effective to screen populations with a higher estimated prevalence of hepatitis C.
Dr. Mark Eckman says electronic medicals records make it easy to separate people into groups that are at higher risk. It then makes sense financially to test everyone in those certain categories.
"The cost-effectiveness of a screening strategy followed by treating patients that are found to be infected was within a range of what we could call cost-effective," he says. "The number is $47,000 per quality-adjusted life year gained."
Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States.
The study's results are based on computer modeling. The next step is a clinical study.
The findings are reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.