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Study of healthcare consumption by patients infected with resistant bacteria

Background

The Public Health Agency of Sweden was commissioned by the Government to develop, test and validate a model for health and financial calculations regarding antibiotic resistance in order to better assess its consequences for society in terms of illness, mortality and cost. To develop a model, input variables and additional costs at individual level were required.

The challenge

Sirona was given the task of identifying and measuring any increase in or consumption of more expensive healthcare and medication related directly to carrying and infection by the notifiable resistant bacteria (MRSA, VRE, PNSP and ESBL) compared to non-resistant bacteria.

Implementation

Through a complex registry study, using data from several sources, at national and regional level, we estimated additional costs for healthcare and medication consumption with regards to multi-resistant bacteria. The estimated additional costs were verified by medical record review. We also conducted in-depth interviews with infectious disease physicians and infection control nurses to estimate the cost of infection tracing and decontamination.

Results

The results showed that patients with resistant bacteria, on average, have higher healthcare costs than patients with similar non-resistant bacteria. Additionally, the results showed that patients with resistant bacteria had a higher burden of care even in the year before they became infected and that the costs of infection tracing and decontamination constitute a small part of the total cost of care.