The Cost-Effectiveness and Budget Impact of a Community-based Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program in the Philippines

Adovich S. Rivera,1 Hilton Y. Lam,1 Charlotte M. Chiong,2,3 Maria Rina T. Reyes-Quintos2,3 and Rosario R. Ricalde2,3

1Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies, National Institutes of Health,
University of the Philippines Manila
2Philippine National Ear Institute
3National Hearing Screening Reference Center, National Institutes of Health,
University of the Philippines Manila

Background. In 2000, the World Health Organization recommended implementation of universal hearing screening. The Philippines enacted this policy into law in 2009 as it was found to be cost-effective for the Philippines. The model at the time used a hospital-based approached to screening. This paper examines the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of implementing a community-based universal hearing screening program.

Methods. A model was developed following a community-based hearing screening program. Parameters were obtained through literature review, secondary data analysis, and consultation with experts. Cost-effectiveness was assessed for a single birth cohort from a public payer and societal perspective.

Results. A community-based universal hearing screening program was found to be cost-saving. One-way sensitivity analysis showed that results were sensitive only to treatment rate and follow-up rate. The program is also a high budget impact program.

Conclusion. A community-based hearing screening program is cost-saving for the Philippines. Ensuring treatment and good follow-up in testing will ensure cost-effectiveness.

Key Words: cost-effectiveness analysis, newborn hearing screening, budget impact analysis, hearing loss