Prostate cancer screening in the workplace: Employer costs
Snyder C., Schrammel PN., Griffiths CB., Griffiths RI.
Recognition of the mortality and morbidity associated with prostate cancer has resulted in employer based screening programs. This retrospective cohort study identified the employer costs of prostate cancer screening and referrals due to abnormal test results. The subjects were 385 men enrolled in a workplace screening program at a single employer between 1993 and 1995. Screening consisted of digital rectal examination (DRE) annually for enrolled employees aged 40 years and older, plus annual prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for those 50 and older, and those 40 and older and considered at high risk. Data related to the health care and lost productivity costs of screening and referrals for abnormal test results were collected and analyzed. The total cost of screening was $44,355, or approximately $56 per screening encounter (788 DREs; 437 PSAs). Abnormal screening tests resulted in 52 referrals. Upon further evaluation, 42% were found to have an enlargement, 29% a node, and 12% benign prostatic hyperplasia. Only one malignancy was found. The total cost of additional referrals was $31,815, or 42% of the cost of screening plus referrals. As the cost per screening encounter was low, prostate cancer screening in the workplace is an efficient alternative.