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The Other Side of the Equation: Measuring the COVID-19 Health Care Costs in Lombardy and evaluating future vaccination strategies

by Alessia Melegaro, Aleksandra Torbica, YuXi Wang, Raffaella PiccarretaOriana Ciani and Simone Ghislandi, in collaboration with Humanitas, Regione Lombardia, and Stefano Merler (Fondazione Bruno Kessler Trento)

Our goal is to represent and quantify the potential resources used and the direct medical costs associated with patients who are symptomatic or hospitalized for COVID-19. We also aim to compare the costs across treatment, age and socioeconomic groups to highlight the potential gravity of the disparity in resources used. We consider scenarios with different attack rates to understand the potential costs under the herd immunity strategy. The derived cost per case (under the different stratification) will be used to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative vaccination strategies targeting different groups of individuals. The cost estimation is crucial not only in understanding in real terms what are the fiscal implications, but also in opening the discussion how our policy measures have potentially ameliorated the substantial costs to our health care system.
The purpose of this study is to measure the health care cost associated with COVID-19 for all symptomatic and hospitalized patients in the Lombardy region.
The primary objective of the study is to measure the direct medical costs of all the resources used for the patient. The secondary objective is to compare the analyse the estimated costs and compare across treatment, age and potentially socioeconomic groups. The third objective is to simulate the scenarios of different attack rates and consider the variability of the costs under strict measure and herd immunity.