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Private sector tuberculosis prevention in the US: Characteristics associated with interferon-gamma release assay or tuberculin skin testing

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  • Alternative Title:
    PLoS One
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    Objective To determine whether latent tuberculosis infection risk factors are associated with an increased likelihood of latent tuberculosis infection testing in the US private healthcare sector. Data source A national sample of medical and pharmacy claims representing services rendered January 2011 through December 2013 for 3,997,986 commercially insured individuals in the US who were 0 to 64 years of age. Study design We used multivariable logistic regression models to determine whether TB/LTBI risk factors were associated with an increased likelihood of Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) or Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) testing in the private sector. Principal findings 4.31% (4.27–4.34%) received at least one TST/IGRA test between 2011 and 2013 while 1.69% (1.67–1.72%) received a TST/IGRA test in 2013. Clinical risk factors associated with a significantly increased likelihood of testing included HIV, immunosuppressive therapy, exposure to tuberculosis, a history of tuberculosis, diabetes, tobacco use, end stage renal disease, and alcohol use disorder. Other significant variables included gender, age, asthma, the state tuberculosis rate, population density, and percent of foreign-born persons in a county. Conclusions Private sector TST/IGRA testing is not uncommon and testing varies with clinical risk indicators. Thus, the private sector can be a powerful resource in the fight against tuberculosis. Analyses of administrative data can inform how best to leverage private sector healthcare toward tuberculosis prevention activities.
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