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Diagnoses, procedures, drug utilization, comorbidities, and cost of health care for people with epilepsy in 2012

      Highlights

      • We determined comorbidities and cost for 8388 individuals with epilepsy.
      • 58% of the study cohort had one or more of 29 prespecified comorbidities.
      • Health-care costs increased markedly as the number of comorbidities increased.
      • The mean monthly health plan paid cost for each patient in 2012 was $1028.
      • Of the $1028, $761 (74%) was for medical, and $267 (26%) was for pharmacy claims.

      Abstract

      Our objective was to identify the top MD-office, inpatient and outpatient diagnoses, procedures, drug classes, comorbidities, and cost of health care for people with epilepsy. We examined health insurance claims for 8388 persons with epilepsy (females = 52%, males = 48%; average age = 35 years; privately insured = 78%, and Medicaid-insured = 22%) from eight health insurance plans for the year 2012. All of the top three diagnoses for MD-office place of service were either for other convulsions (780.39) or for epilepsy (345.90 and 345.40). Two of the top three primary diagnosis codes from the inpatient hospital and emergency department places of service were 780.39 and 345.90 for convulsions and epilepsy, respectively, while the third code was 786.50 for chest pain. The top three procedures from the MD-office setting were for immunizations (90471 and 90658) and blood counts (85025). The top three procedure codes from the outpatient hospital setting were 85025 for complete blood count, 80053 for comprehensive metabolic panel, and 80048 for basic metabolic panel. In the emergency department, the top three procedures were electrocardiogram (93010), computed tomography (70450), and chest X-ray (71020). The top five drug classes among prescription drugs billed using an NDC code were (1) anticonvulsants, (2) analgesic-opioids, (3) antidepressants, (4) penicillins, and (5) dermatologicals. The mean monthly health plan paid cost for each patient with epilepsy in 2012 was $1028 (SD = $3181). Of this total, $761 (SD = $2988; 74%) was for medical, and $267 (SD = $760; 26%) was for prescription pharmacy claims. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the patients had one or more of 29 prespecified comorbidities, while 42% had none. Monthly health-care costs increased markedly as the number of comorbidities increased. This information should help guide cost estimates and resource allocation in order to optimally care for people with epilepsy.

      Keywords

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