Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
LAGOS, Rosanna et al. Direct medical costs of invasive pneumococcal disease and radiologically-diagnosed pneumonia among Chilean children. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.2, pp. 101-111. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892009000800002.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the direct medical costs of health care services for cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and pneumonia acquired in the community and confirmed by radiology (NAC-Rx) among Chilean children. METHODS: A prospective follow-up study of the health services delivered to 594 children 0-35 months of age with IPD and 1 489 children 1-35 months with NAC-Rx, diagnosed and treated by organizations within public health network of the Región Metropolitana de Chile. The value of the health services was established according to rates supplied by the Fondo Nacional de Salud (FONASA, the National Health Fund) and prices charged by two private clinics. The national IPD and NAC-Rx rates were estimated to calculate the total national economic burden for the population covered by state health insurance. RESULTS: The mean cost of cases requiring hospitalization was US$ 1056.20 for IPD and US$ 594.80 for NAC-Rx, while that of cases treated by out-patient services was US$ 77.70 and US$ 65.20, respectively. The cost of the same services for in-patient care at the private clinics was US$ 4484.10 and US$ 2962.70 at one clinic and US$ 9967.50 and US$ 6578.40 at the other. The estimated national annual cost of services for children under 5 years of age, according to FONASA rates, was US$ 789045 for IPD and US$ 13823289 for NAC-Rx. CONCLUSION: The high demand for services and financial resources for NAC-Rx in children 0-3 years of age is a tremendously powerful public health reason to support the routine use of pneumococcal vaccination in Chilean children.
Keywords : Direct service costs; health care costs; pneumococcal infections; pneumococcal vaccines; child health; Chile.