Pilot Grants Awarded

June 8, 2018

The Institute for Public Health Center for Health Economics and Policy pilot program announces funding for three projects in its latest round of funding.

Assessing the Impact of Costs on HIV PrEP Drug Use Among Young Black Men

Zachary Feinstein, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Science

The number of new HIV infections in the US has not decreased over the past decade. HIV is incurable and lifetime treatment costs exceed $400,000/person.  Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a single daily pill, reduces the ability to contract HIV by 90%. Implementation barriers include access to PrEP. Data is needed to develop policies for expanding access and utilization. This project aims to quantify payment options that optimize PrEP use.

Cost Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Stewardship for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

Michael Durkin, Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine

Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASP) are designed to improve the quality of patient care while reducing healthcare costs and combating antibiotic resistance. However, most pharmacoeconomic analyses of antibiotic stewardship programs focus only on reducing pharmacy costs related to excessive or unnecessary antibiotics. However, inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions can also lead to drug-drug interactions, allergic reactions, and infectious diarrhea, which can lead to excessive healthcare costs which are not generally calculated. Furthermore, calculating cost savings with pharmacy costs alone does not make sense in the setting of the complex payer status in hospitals. Hospitalized individuals may have been uninsured or have insurance with various payer statuses (e.g. capitated payments, DRG reimbursement, and fee for services). This mix of insurance coverage is necessary to evaluate the economic impact of an antibiotic stewardship program from a hospital perspective. Further research is needed to accurately calculate the economic costs and benefits of ASP.

Public Health and Economic Consequences of Delayed Vaccination Schedules

Anne Mobley Butler, Instructor, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine

The recommended vaccine schedule is safe and effective, yet over 10% of parents intentionally delay vaccines for their children. As a first step in understanding the public health and economic consequences of delayed vaccine schedules, this study characterizes vaccination schedules among infants and collects clinicians’ feedback about the impact of childhood vaccine schedules on vaccine-preventable diseases, healthcare utilization, and costs.