Impact of disease severity on healthcare costs in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) virus infection



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Impact of disease severity on healthcare costs in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) virus infection Volume 58, Issue 3, 1193, Article first published online: 1 August 2013

  • Potential conflict of interest: Dr. Hamzeh is an employee of Genentech. Dr. Hoop owns stock in Genentech. Dr. Terrault consults for and received grants from Genentech and Gilead. She consults for Merck, Siemens, and Vertex. She also received grants from Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

  • Supported by a grant from Genentech.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increases total healthcare costs but the effect of the severity of liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) on healthcare costs has not been well studied. We analyzed the demographics, healthcare utilization, and healthcare costs of CHC patients in a large U.S. private insurance database (January, 2002 to August, 2010), with at least 1 year of baseline enrollment and 30 days of continuous follow-up. Patients were stratified by liver disease severity: noncirrhotic liver disease (NCD), compensated cirrhosis (CC), and endstage liver disease (ESLD), as defined by the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9) codes. Mean all-cause and HCV-related healthcare costs per-patient-per-month (PPPM) during follow-up (mean 634 days) are reported in 2010 U.S.$ from the payer's perspective. A total of 53,796 patients with CHC were included (NCD: 41,858 [78%]; CC: 3,718 [7%]; and ESLD: 8,220 [15%]). Mean all-cause PPPM healthcare costs were 32% and 247% higher for patients with CC and ESLD compared to those with NCD ($1,870 and $4,931 versus $1,420; P < 0.001) and were independent of age or comorbid conditions. Pharmacy, ambulatory, and inpatient care collectively accounted for 90% of NCD costs and 93% of CC and ESLD costs. The largest cost components were inpatient costs for those with ESLD (56%) and ambulatory costs for those with CC and NCD (37% and 36%, respectively). Overall, 56% of costs were HCV-related and this proportion increased with severity (46%, 57%, and 71% for patients with NCD, CC, and ESLD, respectively). Conclusion: The direct healthcare costs associated with CHC are high, increase in association with the progression of liver disease, and are highest in those with ESLD. (HEPATOLOGY 2012;56:1651–1660)