Estimated Costs of False Laboratory Diagnoses of Tuberculosis in Three Patients
Northrup, Jill M.
Taber, Harry W.
Qualls, Noreen L.
Braden, Christopher R.
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CitationNorthrup, Jill M., Ann C. Miller, Edward Nardell, Sharon Sharnprapai, Sue Etkind, Jeffrey Driscoll, Michael McGarry, and et al. 2002. Estimated costs of false laboratory diagnoses of tuberculosis in three patients. Emerging Infectious Diseases 8(11): 1264-1270.
AbstractWe estimated direct medical and nonmedical costs associated with a false diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) caused by laboratory cross-contamination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures in Massachusetts in 1998 and 1999. For three patients who received misdiagnoses of active TB disease on the basis of laboratory cross-contamination, the costs totaled U.S.$32,618. Of the total, 97% was attributed to the public sector (local and state health departments, public health hospital and laboratory, and county and state correctional facilities); 3% to the private sector (physicians, hospitals, and laboratories); and <1% to the patient. Hospitalizations and inpatient tests, procedures, and TB medications accounted for 69% of costs, and outpatient TB medications accounted for 18%. The average cost per patient was $10,873 (range, $1,033-$21,306). Reducing laboratory cross-contamination and quickly identifying patients with cross-contaminated cultures can prevent unnecessary and potentially dangerous treatment regimens and anguish for the patient and financial burden to the health-care system.
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