A Cost Analysis of a Helicobacter pylori Eradication Strategy in a Large Health Maintenance Organization

Levin, Theodore R.; Schmittdiel, Julie A.; Henning, James M.; Kunz, Kimberly; Henke, Curtis J.; Colby, Chris J.; Selby, Joseph V.
May 1998
American Journal of Gastroenterology;May1998, Vol. 93 Issue 5, p743
Academic Journal
Objectives: We sought to describe the effect of a Helicobacter pylori eradication strategy on health care costs among a cohort of health maintenance organization (HMO) members with peptic ulcer disease (PUD). Methods: Patients were identified from an outpatient diagnosis database and verified at chart review to have new-onset PUD by upper endoscopy or upper gastrointestinal radiographic series. Health plan registration and accounting databases were used to track costs over 12 months after initial diagnosis. Costs were analyzed separately for an initial 2-month interval and a 10-month follow-up period. Inpatient and pharmacy costs are those directly attributable to PUD (either a PUD-related discharge diagnosis or an antiulcer medication prescription). Outpatient costs are total costs. All cost differences were adjusted for age and gender. Results: Twenty-seven of 93 patients meeting selection criteria received H. pylori treatment. During the 2-month treatment window, adjusted PUD-related inpatient costs were higher for the H. pylori treated group (difference, $234.00/person), whereas total outpatient costs and PUD-related pharmacy costs were similar. During the 10-month follow-up period, PUD-related inpatient and pharmacy adjusted costs were similar, but adjusted outpatient costs in the H. pylori treated group were lower than in the untreated group (difference, $508.00/person). Total adjusted follow-up period costs were $555.00/person less in the H. pylori treated group (p = 0.05). Total 12-month costs in the H. pylori treated group were $285.00/per person less than in untreated patients, (p > 0.2); 30% of H. pylori treated patients were still receiving antisecretory therapy 1 yr after diagnosis, compared to 41.9 % of untreated patients. Conclusions: H. pylori treatment is associated with a decreased cost of follow-up care for patients with PUD, primarily due to decrease...


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