The objective of this study was to estimate the direct financial costs of hospital care for management of invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) infections using hospital records for cases diagnosed in England. We linked laboratory-confirmed cases (n = 3696) identified through national surveillance to hospital episode statistics and reimbursement codes. From these codes we estimated the direct hospital costs of admissions. Almost all notified invasive GAS cases (92% of 3696) were successfully matched to a primary hospital admission. Of these, secondary admissions (within 30 days of primary admission) were further identified for 593 (17%). After exclusion of nosocomial cases (12%), the median costs of primary and secondary hospital admissions were estimated by subgroup analysis as £1984-£2212 per case, totalling £4·43-£6·34 million per year in England. With adjustment for unmatched cases this equated to £4·84-£6·93 million per year. Adults aged 16-64 years accounted for 48% of costs but only 40% of cases, largely due to an increased number of surgical procedures. The direct costs of hospital admissions for invasive GAS infection are substantial. These estimated costs will contribute to a full assessment of the total economic burden of invasive GAS infection as a means to assess potential savings through prevention measures.
Keywords: treatment costs.