Introduction Healthcare personnel (HCP) have a risk of hepatitis C infection (HCI). Chronic HCI is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study is to describe the cost for occupationally-caused HCI based on data from an accident insurance carrier.
Methods The secondary data analysis used the database of the German Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services. The analysis is based on a sample of HCP whose HCI were registered as occupational diseases (OD) between 1996 and 2013. Incurred cost was calculated for the period between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2014.
Result The number of registered ODs declined by 86% within the study period. A total of 1.121 ODs were registered. The majority was female, older than 40 years and medical nursing professionals. In the study period, the cost came to a total of € 87.9 million, of which 60% was attributable to pension payments (€ 51,570,830) and around 15% was attributable to medical treatment (€12,978,318). Expenses for drugs increased in 2012 (from around € 500,000–8 00 000 to € 1.7 million) and 2014 (to € 2.5 million). Pension payments came to € 1.6 million in 2000 and rose continuously to over € 4 million in 2014. Expenses for occupational rehabilitation accounted for less than 1%.
Discussion For HCI as an OD, an increase in cost has been observed in recent years, while the number of registered cases has declined. This rise in cost is explained by the increase in pension payments and, since 2012, by a rise in the cost for drugs. In future the high cost of anti-viral therapies is potentially compensated by treatment benefits and savings for pension payments.
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