The Economic Cost of Community-Based Interventions to Improve Breast Cancer Control among African-American Women

Fahs, Marianne C.; Muennig, Peter A.; Kontos, Nina J.; Yabroff, K. Robin; Lawrence, William

A number of intervention strategies to improve the rate of early stage breast cancer detection have been proposed and evaluated. Though good effectiveness data exist, policymakers and medical administrators may be reluctant to implement such interventions because of cost considerations. Few cost-effectiveness analyses have been conducted on culturally-sensitive interventions that increase mammography screening rates or reduce barriers to receiving timely diagnostic testing and treatment for African-American women. This paper discusses an innovative cost effectiveness model, funded by the National Cancer Institute, and presents microeconomic estimates the cost of twelve community-based intervention strategies designed to improve early stage breast cancer detection rates and appropriate follow-up after an abnormal mammogram among African-American women. An innovation in the estimates is to include the value of women’s time. Community-based program costs range from $47 to $161 per patient on an ongoing basis. Same day scheduling of a mammogram with or without patient transportation, public service announcements, physician education, physician audit with feedback, and same day scheduling of a biopsy cost $47-$53 per patient per year on an ongoing basis. Interventions that require fulltime personnel to maintain the program, such as patient reminder letters, theory-based education, physician reminders, and telephone counseling, are more expensive and cost approximately $54- $57 per patient on an ongoing basis. The three most expensive interventions are the mobile mammography van, lay health workers, and church based navigators, costing approximately $67- $161 per patient In conclusion, the added costs of community-based cancer control programs for vulnerable African-American women are small and have the potential to be offset by the gains in quality-adjusted life years saved as a result of detection at an earlier stage of diagnosis and improved follow-up and treatment, particularly among high-risk communities.


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The status of women: facing the facts, forging the future
Institute for Women's Policy Research

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Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
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September 26, 2016