We identify economic costs associated with communicable disease () monitoring/surveillance in Colorado local public health agencies and identify possible economies of scale.
Data were collected via a survey of local public health employees engaged in work. Survey respondents logged time spent on surveillance for 2‐week periods in the spring of 2014 and fall of 2014. Forty‐three of the 54 local public health agencies in Colorado participated.
We used a microcosting approach. We estimated a statistical cost function using cost as a function of the number of reported investigable diseases during the matched 2‐week period. We also controlled for other independent variables, including case mix, characteristics of the agency, the community, and services provided.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Data were collected from a microcosting survey using time logs.
Costs increased at a decreasing rate as cases increased, with both cases (= 431.5, < .001) and cases squared (= −3.62, = .05) statistically significant.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
The results of the model suggest economies of scale. Cost per unit is estimated to be one‐third lower for high‐volume agencies as compared to low‐volume agencies. Cost savings could potentially be achieved if smaller agencies shared services.
Conclusions and Implications