Children with Sickle Cell Disease had Significantly Higher Medical Costs Than Those Without SCD
Medical costs of children with SCD were $9,369 and $13,469 higher than those of children without SCD enrolled in Medicaid and private insurance, respectively. Total pediatric medical costs from SCD in the United States were estimated to be at least $335 million per year.
Annual per capita medical expenditures for children with SCD
Pediatric Medicaid enrollees with SCD incur lower medical expenditures than those in private insurance ($11,075 vs. $14,722). For children without SCD, annual mean total expenditures were significantly higher for those enrolled in Medicaid than for those enrolled in private insurance ($1,706 vs. $1,293, respectively). The difference between the expenditures of children with SCD and those without is a rough proxy of the attributable cost of the disease. Thus, children with SCD enrolled Medicaid and private insurance incur expenditures that are $9,369 and $13,469 higher than those of children without SCD. The ratios of total mean expenditures were 6 and 11 for Medicaid and private insurance, respectively. Analysis by type of care suggest that the largest ratios for both Medicaid and private insurance were for inpatient care (i.e., 17 and 34, respectively), while the lowest ratios were for prescription drugs (i.e., 3 and 2, respectively).
Estimated National Medical Expenditures attributable to SCD
A combination of data was relied upon to estimate the national SCD-attributable pediatric medical expenditures. In 2005, there were an estimated 28,426 black children with SCD in the U.S.. Adjusting by 10% to account for nonblack children with SCD yielded an estimated number of 31,269 children with SCD. Assuming that two thirds of children with SCD were enrolled in Medicaid, the SCD-attributable expenditures per child estimate were $10,706. Therefore, total medical expenditures for children with SCD were approximately $335 million in 2005.
Amendah DD, Mvundura M, Kavanagh PL, Sprinz PG, Grosse, SD. Sickle Cell Disease-Related Pediatric Medical Expenditures in the U.S. Am J Prev Med 2010;(4S):S550-S556.
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