To analyze the cost-effectiveness of the national Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) over the lifetime of the 2009 US birth cohort and compare the costs and outcomes of the program to a scenario without PHBPP support. PHBPP’s goals are to ensure all infants born to hepatitis B (HepB) surface antigen–positive women receive timely postexposure prophylaxis, complete HepB vaccine series, and obtain serologic testing after series completion.
A decision analytic tree and a long-term Markov model represented the risk of perinatal and childhood infections under different prevention alternatives, and the long-term health and economic consequences of HepB infection. Outcome measures were the number of perinatal infections and childhood infections from infants born to HepB surface antigen–positive women, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), lifetime costs, and incremental cost per QALY gained. The health outcomes and total costs of each strategy were compared incrementally. Costs were evaluated from the health care system perspective and expressed in US dollars at a 2010 price base.
In all analyses, the PHBPP increased QALYs and led to higher reductions in the number of perinatal and childhood infections than no PHBPP, with a cost-effectiveness ratio of $2602 per QALY. In sensitivity analyses, the cost-effectiveness ratio was robust to variations in model inputs, and there were instances where the program was both more effective and cost saving.
This study indicated that the current PHBPP represents a cost-effective use of resources, and ensuring the program reaches all pregnant women could present additional public health benefits.