Medical Expenditures Associated With Diabetes Acute Complications in Privately Insured U.S. Youth
Published Date:Sep 15 2010
Source:Diabetes Care. 33(12):2617-2622.
To estimate medical expenditures attributable to diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) and severe hypoglycemia among privately insured insulin-treated U.S. youth with diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We analyzed the insurance claims of 7,556 youth, age ≤19 years, with insulin-treated diabetes. The youth were continuously enrolled in fee-for-service health plans, and claims were obtained from the 2007 U.S. MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounter database. We used regression models to estimate total medical expenditures and their subcomponents: outpatient, inpatient, and drug expenditures. The excess expenditures associated with DKA and severe hypoglycemia were estimated as the difference between predicted medical expenditures for youth who did/did not experience either DKA or severe hypoglycemia.
For youth with and without DKA, respectively, predicted mean annual total medical expenditures were $14,236 and $8,398 (an excess of $5,837 for those with DKA). The excess was statistically greater for those with one or more episodes of DKA ($8,455) than among those with only one episode ($3,554). Predicted mean annual total medical expenditures were $12,850 and $8,970 for youth with and without severe hypoglycemia, respectively (an excess of $3,880 for those with severe hypoglycemia). The excess was greater among those with one or more episodes ($5,929) than among those with only one ($2,888).
Medical expenditures for potentially preventable DKA and severe hypoglycemia in U.S. youth with insulin-treated diabetes are substantial. Improving the quality of care for these youth to prevent the development of these two complications could avert substantial U.S. health care expenditures.
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