THEODORE G. GANIATS, M.D.; ANTHONY F. WONG, M.D.
To the editor: In their article on type A influenza prevention and control in nursing homes, Patriarca and colleagues (1) express cost-effectiveness as the ratio of the net health care costs to net health effects. They should be commended for acknowledging that including the costs of continuing institutional care during years-of-life gained often biases a cost-effectiveness analysis, and disregarding these costs may be acceptable. However, they ignore a basic principle of cost-effectiveness research and later do a misleading calculation.
Direct medical costs, defined by the authors as the costs of treatment and hospitalization for those acquiring influenza, should have been
GANIATS TG, WONG AF. Influenza in Nursing Homes. Ann Intern Med. ;108:644–645. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-4-644_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(4):644-645.
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