Cost-effectiveness of STI screenings in emergency departments

November 16, 2020

Are targeted screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or universally offered screenings more cost-effective than not screening?

When discussing universal or targeted screening for a variety of conditions has been roundly debated. An investigation in JAMA Pediatrics examines which is more cost-effective when screening teenagers and young adults who seeking acute care in pediatric emergency departments for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.1

The researchers’ examination was part of an ongoing, larger multicenter trial from the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network. The data sources included insurance claims data from the MarketScan database, reimbursement payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, English-language articles that had been indexed in MEDLINE, and the bibliographies from relevant articles.

There were 3 screening strategies examined: not screening, targeted screening, and universally offered screening. The targeted screening also involved completing a sexual health survey, which provided an estimated sexually transmitted infection risk of at-risk, high risk, or low risk.

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