Cost of Hospitalization of Different Types of Schistosomiasis Cases in Endemic Areas in the Philippines: Indicating the Need to Increase the Coverage of Government Health Insurance
Background. Schistosomiasis is endemic in the Philippines. Currently, the financial and economic costs of hospitalization due to schistosomiasis have not been studied or analyzed. This will be essential to the review of health benefit package of PhilHealth for schistosomiasis.
Objectives. This study estimated the cost of hospitalization due to schistosomiasis and its complications in the Philippines.
Methods. This is a cross-sectional mixed-methods study. Nine (9) hospitals from schistosomiasis-endemic provinces were included in the study. Medical records and billing statements from year 2013 were retrieved and analyzed. Non-medical costs were calculated based on data from key informants and existing economic data in 2013.
Results. A total of 1,415 hospitalized cases were collected; 94% came from government hospitals. Fifty nine percent (59%) were classified under uncomplicated schistosomiasis. Overall hospitalization costs were PhP 8,489,524.39 (USD 200,006.70), with cases of hepatic complications having the highest costs among all types of cases. Combined nonmedical costs and productivity losses for 5,005 days of hospitalization were PhP 13,019,363.75 (USD 306,726.25).
Conclusion. The estimated clinical cost burden and economic losses due to schistosomiasis in selected sites in the Philippines amount to PhP 21,508,888.14 (USD 506,732.95). Significant drivers of cost were the presence of schistosomiasis sequelae or complications, co-morbidities, and increasing length of stay. Estimated productivity losses and non-medical expenses of patients due to hospitalization were found to be more burdensome than the actual hospital bills. These costs stress the need for government to provide health coverage for patients diagnosed with schistosomiasis.