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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3816432, 9 pages
Research Article

Tuberculosis Test Usage and Medical Expenditures from Outpatient Insurance Claims Data, 2013

Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Kwame Owusu-Edusei Jr.

Received 14 April 2017; Revised 29 June 2017; Accepted 1 August 2017; Published 23 October 2017

Academic Editor: David C. Perlman

This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


Objective. To evaluate TB test usage and associated direct medical expenditures from 2013 private insurance claims data in the United States (US). Methods. We extracted outpatient claims for TB-specific and nonspecific tests from the 2013 MarketScan® commercial database. We estimated average expenditures (adjusted for claim and patient characteristics) using semilog regression analyses and compared them to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) national reimbursement limits. Results. Among the TB-specific tests, 1.4% of the enrollees had at least one claim, of which the tuberculin skin test was most common (86%) and least expensive ($9). The T-SPOT® was the most expensive among the TB-specific tests ($106). Among nonspecific TB tests, the chest radiograph was the most used test (78%), while chest computerized tomography was the most expensive ($251). Adjusted average expenditures for the majority of tests (≈74%) were above CMS limits. We estimated that total United States medical expenditures for the employer-based privately insured population for TB-specific tests were $53.0 million in 2013, of which enrollees paid 17% ($9 million). Conclusions. We found substantial differences in TB test usage and expenditures. Additionally, employer-based private insurers and enrollees paid more than CMS limits for most TB tests.