Peter Navario graduates with doctorate on a novel model to boost routine HIV care and treatment

15 Jun 2010 - 20:15

ASRU fellow Peter Navario has graduated with a doctorate titled "Implementation of a novel model to boost routine HIV care and treatment capacity in South Africa: outcomes, costs, and cost-effectiveness". In the photo he is seen with Director of ASRU, Prof Nicoli Nattrass, who was also his supervisor. Details on the research is provided below.

Implementation of a novel model to boost routine HIV care and treatment capacity in South Africa: outcomes, costs, and cost-effectiveness

Introduction This research evaluated a novel public-private partnership (PPP) between the provincial department of health, an NGO, and a local private sector general practitioner (GP)  network, which provides routine HIV care and treatment to public sector patients in order to alleviate the patient burden at public sector primary care clinics.

Methods This was a retrospective cohort study, and the PPP was compared to the status quo public primary healthcare clinic model in terms of patient outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness. Outcomes data (viral suppression, patient retention and other clinical outcomes) were collected from clinic records and patient files. Cost data included HIV and TB treatment, laboratory tests, down-referral care, and hospital-based outpatient and inpatient care. In addition, a new program performance metric proposed a cost associated with premature treatment attrition. Total and average costs for each model were based on resource utilization. Average cost and incremental cost per patient retained, cost per suppressed patient, and cost per suppressed patient remaining in down-referral care were calculated. A survey was conducted with a sub-set of study patients in order to incorporate patient perceptions of each care model.

Key Results The proportion of patients who remained in care at the down-referral site with suppressed viral loads was 83 and 55 percent in the PPP and PHC cohorts respectively. Eighty-eight percent of PPP patients had suppressed viral loads compared to 67 percent of PHC patients. Retention on treatment was 94 percent among PPP subjects and 75 percent among PHC subjects. Total model cost was higher in the PPP model (R2,153,233) compared to the PHC model (R1,556,591) during the study period. The average cost per suppressed patient in down-referral care was R646.41 per month in the PPP model and R 724.00 per month in the PHC model, and the cost per patient retained was R570.85 in the PPP model and R516.45 in the PHC model. The ICER per additional suppressed patient per month in down-referral care for the PPP model was R505.20. The PPP model is cost-effective and should be considered for replication in order to immediately expand HIV care and treatment capacity in South Africa.