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Original Article
Utilization of Laboratory Tests for Tuberculosis and Mycobacterial Disease in Korea
Chang-Ki Kim, Sung Won Choi, Mi-Sun Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2014;5(Suppl):S24-S29.   Published online December 31, 2014
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AbstractAbstract PDF
In Korea, a large portion of tuberculosis (TB) patients are diagnosed and treated in private institutes. Laboratory tests are crucial for TB control. There are many possible problems using laboratory tests in the private sector. In this study, we aimed to investigate the characteristics and trends of utilizing laboratory tests for TB and mycobacterial diseases in the private sector by analyzing the National Health Insurance (NHI) database.
After selecting TB or other mycobacteria-related test items, we searched the number and cost of each item on the website of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service using the code of each test from 2007 to 2012.
Our data revealed that the number and cost of tests drastically increased between 2007 and 2012. Culture and molecular tests primarily contributed to the tremendous increases. For each year, concentrated smearing and fluorochrome staining were more commonly used. The number of serologic tests for latent TB infection stagnated, despite the expansion of contact investigation.
The NHI data could be considerably useful for understanding the utilization trends of laboratory tests for TB and mycobacterial diseases in Korea. Our data showed that TB laboratory systems have recently improved. In this study, many issues were noticed. Therefore, solutions to these issues are required and the continued monitoring of NHI data regarding laboratory diagnosis.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Tuberculosis Surveillance and Monitoring under the National Public-Private Mix Tuberculosis Control Project in South Korea 2016–2017
    Jinsoo Min, Hyung Woo Kim, Yousang Ko, Jee Youn Oh, Ji Young Kang, Joosun Lee, Young Joon Park, Sung-Soon Lee, Jae Seuk Park, Ju Sang Kim
    Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases.2020; 83(3): 218.     CrossRef
  • Is Tuberculosis Still the Number One Infectious Disease in Korea?
    Hae-Wol Cho, Chaeshin Chu
    Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives.2014; 5: S1.     CrossRef

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives