Michigan Screening Program Saves $10 million

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

October 31, 2007

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) reported today that the Michigan Infertility Prevention Program (IPP) discovered approximately 14,000 gonorrhea and chlamydia infections in 2006, and likely saved more than $10 million in public and private health care dollars.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea infect thousands, mainly those from 15 to 24 years of age, in Michigan every year. If not discovered early, significant public and private health care resources are expended to manage costly complications. Fortunately, Michigan has a robust program to provide for early diagnosis and treatment.

In Michigan, Infertility Prevention Project (IPP) resources support a large portion of gonorrhea and chlamydia screening occurring in local public health STD and Family Planning clinics, as well as select juvenile detention centers, school-based clinics, and teen health centers. IPP is a successful example of cross program collaboration, as the Michigan IPP Alliance includes representatives from STD, Family Planning, Laboratory, and Adolescent Health. This effort is part of a national screening program.

In July 2007, an analysis was done to calculate health care costs avoided as a result of this screening program. In 2006, IPP screening saved $10 million due to avoided Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). As this calculation was done in 1998 dollars and did not include lost time, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility costs, the actual savings is significantly higher.

"Every work day in Michigan, this screening program performs about 720 tests for Michigan residents, finds an average of 57 infections, the majority of which are in young females, and most of them are treated," said Mark Miller, Acting Director, Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control, MDCH.

Funding for IPP is made available through a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The main focus of IPP funding is to screen young women in family planning and STD clinics for chlamydia and gonorrhea and provide prompt treatment to avoid PID and subsequent infertility problems. In expanding screening to select adolescent venues, the Michigan IPP Alliance has successfully targeted those individuals at highest risk for infection. The program is working to increase screening in hospital emergency departments, managed care organizations, and other private medical providers.

For more information, please contact Kristine Judd, Administrative Program Manger, Sexually Transmitted Disease Section, at (313) 456-4426 or juddk@michigan.gov.

Experts in HIV/AIDS, STD and Health Disparities will be meeting at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti, on November 1 and 2, 2007 to discuss current trends on this and other related issues.