Hospitalization costs unaffected by Medicaid status for children with asthma




Medicaid status did not significantly affect costs for children who were hospitalized because of asthma, according to Jeffrey H. Silber, MD, and his associates.

In a study of 17,739 matched pairs of children with and without Medicaid who were hospitalized because of asthma, the median cost for Medicaid patients was $4,263; for non-Medicaid patients, it was $4,160. The median difference in cost between Medicaid and non-Medicaid patients was $84, and the mean difference in cost was $49.

Both Medicaid and non-Medicaid patients had similar lengths of stay, with a median of 1 day for both groups. Intensive care unit use was similar, with 10.1% of Medicaid patients visiting the ICU, compared with 10.6% of non-Medicaid patients.

“Our study should serve to provide potential benchmarks for use and reimbursement standards, with implications for care and payment even when children are hospitalized outside the [Pediatric Hospital Information System],” the investigators wrote.

Find the full study in Pediatrics (doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-0371).

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