Linking private, for-profit providers to public sector services for HIV and tuberculosis co-infected patients: A systematic review.
ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths worldwide and is the leading cause of death among people with HIV. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for collaboration between public and private healthcare providers to maximize integration of TB/HIV services and minimize costs. We systematically reviewed published models of public-private sector diagnostic and referral services for TB/HIV co-infected patients.We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Google Scholar, Science Direct, CINAHL and Web of Science. We included studies that discussed programs that linked private and public providers for TB/HIV concurrent diagnostic and referral services and used Review Manager (Version 5.3, 2015) for meta-analysis.We found 1,218 unduplicated potentially relevant articles and abstracts; three met our eligibility criteria. All three described public-private TB/HIV diagnostic/referral services with varying degrees of integration. In Kenya private practitioners were able to test for both TB and HIV and offer state-subsidized TB medication, but they could not provide state-subsidized antiretroviral therapy (ART) to co-infected patients. In India private practitioners not contractually engaged with the public sector offered TB/HIV services inconsistently and on a subjective basis. Those partnered with the state, however, could test for both TB and HIV and offer state-subsidized medications. In Nigeria some private providers had access to both state-subsidized medications and diagnostic tests; others required patients to pay out-of-pocket for testing and/or treatment. In a meta-analysis of the two quantitative reports, TB patients who sought care in the public sector were almost twice as likely to have been tested for HIV than TB patients who sought care in the private sector (risk ratio [RR] 1.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.88-2.08). However, HIV-infected TB patients who sought care in the public sector were marginally less likely to initiate ART than TB patients who sought care from private providers (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.78-1.03).These three studies are examples of public-private TB/HIV service delivery and can potentially serve as models for integrated TB/HIV care systems. Successful public-private diagnostic and treatment services can both improve outcomes and decrease costs for patients co-infected with HIV and TB.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) is the fourth leading cause of death in Indonesia. In 2015, the World Health Organization estimated that nearly two-thirds of the TB patients in Indonesia had not been notified, and the status of their care remained unknown. As such, Indonesia is home to nearly 20% of the world's "missing" TB patients. Understanding where patients go for care may enable strategic planning of services to better reach them.A patient pathway analysis (PPA) was conducted to assess the alignment between patient care seeking and the availability of TB diagnostic and treatment services at the national and subnational level in Indonesia.The PPA results revealed that only 20% of patients encountered diagnostic capacity at the location where they first sought care. Most initial care seeking occurred in the private sector and case notification lagged behind diagnostic confirmation in the public sector.The PPA results emphasize the role that the private sector plays in TB patient care seeking and suggested a need for differentiated approaches, by province, to respond to variances in care-seeking patterns and the capacities of public and private providers.
Project description:Effective infectious disease control requires early diagnosis and treatment initiation. Point-of-care testing offers rapid turn-around-times, facilitating same day clinical management decisions. To maximize the benefits of such POC testing programs, we need to understand how rapid tests are used in everyday clinical practice.In this cross-sectional survey study, 400 primary healthcare providers in two cities in South Africa were interviewed on their use of rapid tests in general, and tuberculosis diagnostic practices, between September 2012 and June 2013. Public healthcare facilities were selected using probability-sampling techniques and private healthcare providers were randomly selected from the Health Professional Council of South Africa list. To ascertain differences between the two healthcare sectors 2-sample z-tests were used to compare sample proportions.The numbers of providers interviewed were equally distributed between the public (n = 200) and private sector (n = 200). The most frequently reported tests in the private sector include blood pressure (99.5%), glucose finger prick (89.5%) and urine dipstick (38.5%); and in the public sector were pregnancy (100%), urine dipstick (100%), blood pressure (100%), glucose finger prick (99%) and HIV rapid test (98%). The majority of TB testing occurs in the public sector, where significantly more providers prefer Xpert MTB/RIF assay, the designated clinical TB diagnostic tool by the national TB program, as compared to the private sector (87% versus 71%, p-value >0.0001). Challenges with regard to TB diagnosis included the long laboratory turn-around-time, difficulty in obtaining sputum samples and lost results. All providers indicated that a new POC test for TB should be rapid and cheap, have good sensitivity and specificity, ease of sample acquisition, detect drug-resistance and work in HIV-infected persons.The existing centralized laboratory services, poor quality assurance, and lack of staff capacity deter the use of more rapid tests at POC. Further research into the practices and choices of these providers is necessary to aid the development of new POC tests.
Project description:India has announced a goal of universal access to quality tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment. A number of novel diagnostics could help meet this important goal. The rollout of one such diagnostic, Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert) is being considered, but if Xpert is used mainly for people with HIV or high risk of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in the public sector, population-level impact may be limited.We developed a model of TB transmission, care-seeking behavior, and diagnostic/treatment practices in India and explored the impact of six different rollout strategies. Providing Xpert to 40% of public-sector patients with HIV or prior TB treatment (similar to current national strategy) reduced TB incidence by 0.2% (95% uncertainty range [UR]: -1.4%, 1.7%) and MDR-TB incidence by 2.4% (95% UR: -5.2%, 9.1%) relative to existing practice but required 2,500 additional MDR-TB treatments and 60 four-module GeneXpert systems at maximum capacity. Further including 20% of unselected symptomatic individuals in the public sector required 700 systems and reduced incidence by 2.1% (95% UR: 0.5%, 3.9%); a similar approach involving qualified private providers (providers who have received at least some training in allopathic or non-allopathic medicine) reduced incidence by 6.0% (95% UR: 3.9%, 7.9%) with similar resource outlay, but only if high treatment success was assured. Engaging 20% of all private-sector providers (qualified and informal [providers with no formal medical training]) had the greatest impact (14.1% reduction, 95% UR: 10.6%, 16.9%), but required >2,200 systems and reliable treatment referral. Improving referrals from informal providers for smear-based diagnosis in the public sector (without Xpert rollout) had substantially greater impact (6.3% reduction) than Xpert scale-up within the public sector. These findings are subject to substantial uncertainty regarding private-sector treatment patterns, patient care-seeking behavior, symptoms, and infectiousness over time; these uncertainties should be addressed by future research.The impact of new diagnostics for TB control in India depends on implementation within the complex, fragmented health-care system. Transformative strategies will require private/informal-sector engagement, adequate referral systems, improved treatment quality, and substantial resources. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Project description:Under-detection and -reporting in the private sector constitute a major barrier in Viet Nam's fight to end tuberculosis (TB). Effective private-sector engagement requires innovative approaches. We established an intermediary agency that incentivized private providers in two districts of Ho Chi Minh City to refer persons with presumptive TB and share data of unreported TB treatment from July 2017 to March 2019. We subsidized chest x-ray screening and Xpert MTB/RIF testing, and supported test logistics, recording, and reporting. Among 393 participating private providers, 32.1% (126/393) referred at least one symptomatic person, and 3.6% (14/393) reported TB patients treated in their practice. In total, the study identified 1203 people with TB through private provider engagement. Of these, 7.6% (91/1203) were referred for treatment in government facilities. The referrals led to a post-intervention increase of +8.5% in All Forms TB notifications in the intervention districts. The remaining 92.4% (1112/1203) of identified people with TB elected private-sector treatment and were not notified to the NTP. Had this private TB treatment been included in official notifications, the increase in All Forms TB notifications would have been +68.3%. Our evaluation showed that an intermediary agency model can potentially engage private providers in Viet Nam to notify many people with TB who are not being captured by the current system. This could have a substantial impact on transparency into disease burden and contribute significantly to the progress towards ending TB.
Project description:Despite being a recognized standard of tuberculosis (TB) care internationally, mandatory TB case notification brings forth challenges from the private sector. Only three TB cases were notified in 2013 by private practitioners compared to 2000 TB cases notified yearly from the public sector in Alappuzha district. The study objective was to explore the knowledge, opinion and barriers regarding TB Notification among private practitioners offering TB services in Alappuzha, Kerala state, India.This was a mixed-methods study with quantitative (survey) and qualitative components conducted between December 2013 and July 2014. The survey, using a structured questionnaire, among 169 private practitioners revealed that 88% were aware of mandatory notification. All patient-related details requested in the notification form (except government-issued identification number) were perceived to be important and easy to provide by more than 80% of practitioners. While more than 95% felt that notification should be mandatory, punitive action in case of failure to notify was considered unnecessary by almost two third. General practitioners (98%) were more likely to be aware of notification than specialists (84 %). (P<0.01). Qualitative purposive personal interviews (n=34) were carried out among private practitioners and public health providers. On thematic framework analysis of the responses, barriers to TB notification were grouped into three themes: 'private provider misconceptions about notification', 'patient confidentiality, and stigma and discrimination 'and 'lack of cohesion and coordination between public and private sector'. Private practitioners did not consider it necessary to notify TB cases treated with daily regimen.Communication strategies like training, timely dissemination of information of policy changes and one-to-one dialogue with private practitioners to dispel misconceptions may enhance TB notification. Trust building strategies like providing feedback about referred cases from private sector, health personnel visit or a liaison private doctor may ensure compliance to public health activities.
Project description:Unlike in adults, diagnosis of TB can be challenging in children, as signs and symptoms of paediatric TB can be very non-specific and similar to other common childhood chest infections, which may lead to under or delayed diagnosis of TB disease. In spite of the increasing availability of rapid high-sensitivity diagnostics in public and private sectors, majority of paediatric TB cases are empirically diagnosed, without laboratory confirmation. To address these diagnostic challenges, World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended upfront Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert) testing for the diagnosis of TB in paediatric presumptive pulmonary and extra-pulmonary TB (EPTB) cases. However, in spite of the increasing availability of rapid high-sensitivity diagnostics, a significant gap exists in its application with Xpert being rarely used as an upfront diagnostic among patients presumed to have TB. Under an ongoing paediatric project since April 2014, which provided free-of-cost upfront Xpert testing, several low-cost outreach and education interventions were undertaken to increase the diagnostic uptake by different providers catering to the paediatric population, thereby increasing adherence to global guidance.Providers catering to paediatric population in the project cities were systematically mapped and contacted using different outreach strategies. The focus of outreach efforts was to increase provider literacy and increase their awareness of the availability of free rapid diagnostic services with the goal of changing their diagnostic approaches.From April 2014 to June 2016, more than 5,700 providers/facilities were mapped and 3,670 of them were approached. The number of providers/facilities engaged under the project increased more than 10-fold (43 in April, 2014 to 466 in June, 2016), with significant increase in project uptake, both from public and private sector. Overall 42,238 paediatric presumptive TB cases were enrolled in the project, across the four cities. Over the project period, quarterly diagnostic uptake and paediatric TB cases detection rates increased more than two-fold. TB detection rates were similar in patients from public and private sectors.Ongoing efforts in scaling up new rapid diagnostics involves significant investments. These efforts need to be complemented with proactive provider engagement to ensure provider-literacy and awareness, for maximizing impact of this scale-up. The current project demonstrated the usefulness of outreach and education interventions for the effective uptake of newer diagnostics.
Project description:Pakistani women suffer the highest rate of maternal mortality in South Asia. A lack of comprehensive knowledge about maternal and newborn health (MNH) services costs impedes policy decisions to maximize the benefit from existing, as well as emerging, MNH interventions in Pakistan. We compared MNH service costs at different levels of care. A cross-sectional survey was conducted during January to March 2016 as part of a large economic evaluation in Sindh, Pakistan. Health providers and facilities were selected from a sampling frame, inclusive of public and private sectors. This study utilized a broad perspective (i.e. costs to the health system and patients/families). The unit costs of MNH services were determined through a simultaneous allocation method in the public facilities; and patient billing department in the private facilities. Descriptive analysis was performed, and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) test was applied to compare overall mean costs both within and between health facilities. A total of 31 eligible health providers and facilities (n = 25 in private; n = 7 in public) were included in the final analysis. An ambulatory visit (AV) for routine antenatal care (ANC) costs $3.6 and $0.9 at secondary- and tertiary-level public facilities, respectively. In the private sector, the costs of an AV for ANC were slightly less ($2.8) at secondary-level and much higher ($6) at tertiary-level facilities compared to the public sector. Diagnostic test costs were much higher in private facilities. The average costs of inpatient admissions were $30.5 at general ward (GW), and $151 at the intensive care unit (ICU) in public facilities. In-patient admissions costs were lower such as $9.3 at GW and $36.5 at ICU in private facilities. Understanding cost is critical to guide decisions of resource allocation within the public sector; and risk mitigation for excessive OOP costs through third party payer for services in the private sector.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Private providers dominate health care in India and provide most tuberculosis (TB) care. Yet efforts to engage private providers were viewed as unsustainably expensive. Three private provider engagement pilots were implemented in Patna, Mumbai and Mehsana in 2014 based on the recommendations in the National Strategic Plan for TB Control, 2012-17. These pilots sought to improve diagnosis and treatment of TB and increase case notifications by offering free drugs and diagnostics for patients who sought care among private providers, and monetary incentives for providers in one of the pilots. As these pilots demonstrated much higher levels of effectiveness than previously documented, we sought to understand program implementation costs and predict costs for their national scale-up. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We developed a common cost structure across these three pilots comprising fixed and variable cost components. We conducted a retrospective, activity-based costing analysis using programmatic data and qualitative interviews with the respective program managers. We estimated the average recurring costs per TB case at different levels of program scale for the three pilots. We used these cost estimates to calculate the budget required for a national scale up of such pilots. The average cost per privately-notified TB case for Patna, Mumbai and Mehsana was estimated to be US$95, US$110 and US$50, respectively, in May 2016 when these pilots were estimated to cover 50%, 36% and 100% of the total private TB patients, respectively. For Patna and Mumbai pilots, the average cost per case at full scale, i.e. 100% coverage of private TB patients, was projected to be US$91 and US$101, respectively. In comparison, the national TB program's budget for 2015 averages out to $150 per notified TB case. The total annual additional budget for a national scale up of these pilots was estimated to be US$267 million. CONCLUSIONS:As India seeks to eliminate TB, extensive national engagement of private providers will be required. The cost per privately-notified TB case from these pilots is comparable to that already being spent by the public sector and to the projected cost per privately-notified TB case required to achieve national scale-up of these pilots. With additional funds expected to execute against national TB elimination commitments, the scale-up costs of these operationally viable and effective private provider engagement pilots are likely to be financially viable.
Project description:Studies have highlighted the inadequacies of the public health sector in sub-Saharan African countries in providing appropriate malaria case management. The readiness of the public health sector to provide malaria case-management in Somalia, a country where there has been no functioning central government for almost two decades, was investigated.Three districts were purposively sampled in each of the two self-declared states of Puntland and Somaliland and the south-central region of Somalia, in April-November 2007. A survey and mapping of all public and private health service providers was undertaken. Information was recorded on services provided, types of anti-malarial drugs used and stock, numbers and qualifications of staff, sources of financial support and presence of malaria diagnostic services, new treatment guidelines and job aides for malaria case-management. All settlements were mapped and a semi-quantitative approach was used to estimate their population size. Distances from settlements to public health services were computed.There were 45 public health facilities, 227 public health professionals, and 194 private pharmacies for approximately 0.6 million people in the three districts. The median distance to public health facilities was 6 km. 62.3% of public health facilities prescribed the nationally recommended anti-malarial drug and 37.7% prescribed chloroquine as first-line therapy. 66.7% of public facilities did not have in stock the recommended first-line malaria therapy. Diagnosis of malaria using rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) or microscopy was performed routinely in over 90% of the recommended public facilities but only 50% of these had RDT in stock at the time of survey. National treatment guidelines were available in 31.3% of public health facilities recommended by the national strategy. Only 8.8% of the private pharmacies prescribed artesunate plus sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine, while 53.1% prescribed chloroquine as first-line therapy. 31.4% of private pharmacies also provided malaria diagnosis using RDT or microscopy.Geographic access to public health sector is relatively low and there were major shortages of appropriate guidelines, anti-malarials and diagnostic tests required for appropriate malaria case management. Efforts to strengthen the readiness of the health sector in Somalia to provide malaria case management should improve availability of drugs and diagnostic kits; provide appropriate information and training; and engage and regulate the private sector to scale up malaria control.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to assess the coverage and explore enablers and challenges in implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) cash incentive scheme for patients with tuberculosis (TB). DESIGN:This is a mixed methods study comprising a quantitative cohort and descriptive qualitative study. SETTING:The study was conducted in City TB Centre, Vadodara, Western India. PARTICIPANTS:We used routinely collected data under the National TB Programme (NTP) on patients with TB notified between April and September 2018 and initiated on first-line anti-tuberculosis treatment (ATT) to assess the coverage of DBT. We interviewed NTP staff and patients to understand their perceptions. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:The study outcomes are receipt of DBT (primary), time to receipt of first instalment of DBT and treatment outcome. RESULTS:Among 1826 patients, 771 (42.2%) had received at least one instalment. Significantly more patients from the public sector had received DBT (at least one instalment) compared with those from private sector (adjusted relative risk (adjRR)=16.3; 95%?CI 11.6 to 23.0). Among public sector patients, 7.3% (49/671) had received first instalment within 2?months of treatment initiation. Median (IQR) time to receipt of first instalment was 5.2 (3.4, 7.4) months. Treatment in private sector, residing outside city limits and being HIV non-reactive were significantly (p<0.001) associated with longer time to receipt. Timely and sufficient fund release, adequate manpower and adequate logistics in TB centre were the enablers. Inability of patients to open bank accounts due to lack of identity/residence proof, their reluctance to share personal information and inadequate support from private providers were the challenges identified in implementation. CONCLUSION:During the early phase of DBT implementation, the coverage was low and there were delays in benefit transfer. Facilitating opening of bank accounts for patients by NTP staff and better support from private providers may improve DBT coverage. Repeat assessment of DBT coverage after streamlining of implementation is recommended.