Productivity costs of nonviral sexually transmissible infections among patients who miss work to seek medical care: Evidence from claims data

Sexual Health (Impact Factor: 1.37). 08/2013; 10(5). DOI: 10.1071/SH13021
Source: PubMed


Productivity losses can arise when employees miss work to seek care for sexually transmissible infections (STIs). We estimated the average productivity loss per acute case of four nonviral STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.

We extracted outpatient claims from 2001-2005 MarketScan databases using International Classification Disease ver. 9 (ICD-9) codes. We linked claims with their absence records in the Health and Productivity Management database by matching enrolee identifiers and the service dates from the claims such that our final data included only those who were absent because they were sick and were diagnosed with an STI on the day of their visit. To ensure that the visit was for the STIs being examined, we restricted the criteria to records with the specified ICD-9 codes only, excluding claims with other codes. We estimated the average number of hours absent and multiplied it by the mean hourly wage rate including benefits ($29.72 in 2011 United States dollars) to estimate the average productivity loss per case.

The average productivity losses per case were: $262 for chlamydia, $197 for gonorrhoea, $419 for syphilis and $289 for trichomoniasis. There were no significant differences between males and females.

Among those who take sick leave to seek care, productivity losses associated with treating nonviral STIs may be higher than their estimated direct medical costs. These productivity cost estimates can help to quantify the overall STI burden, and inform cost-effectiveness analyses of prevention and control efforts.

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