Cost Analysis of Enhancing Linkages to HIV Care Following Jail: A Cost-Effective Intervention
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We are not aware of published cost-effectiveness studies addressing community transitional programs for HIV-infected jail detainees. To address this gap, data from 9 sites of EnhanceLink, a project that enrolled HIV-infected releasees from jails across the US, were examined. Figures on the number of clients served, cost of linkage services, number of linkages and 6-month sustained linkages to community HIV care, and number of clients achieving viral suppression were assessed for subjects released in the first quarter of 2010 (n = 543). The cost analysis included all costs that participating service agencies incurred. A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted to estimate the new HIV cases averted by EnhanceLink and the cost per quality-adjusted life year saved by the program. The mean cost per linked client was $4,219; the mean cost per 6-month sustained linkage was $4,670; and the mean cost per client achieving viral suppression was $8,432. Compared to standard care, the cost per additional quality-adjusted life year saved was $72,285, suggesting that the EnhanceLink interventions were cost-effective from the societal perspective.
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