Background & Purpose
Knowledge surrounding inpatient costs of bacterial meningitis (BM) management is limited. We aimed to explore the financial burden of hospitalization due to BM, including cost trends over time and factors associated with higher costs.
We performed a cross-sectional, retrospective analysis of BM hospitalizations in a publicly available database, Washington State Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System, from 2014-2020. Costs were evaluated based on parameters including demographics, type of admission, length of stay (LOS), and discharge destination. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 28.0.
From 2014-2020, 292 patients were hospitalized for BM. Majority of admissions were age 18-64 (63%), followed by 0-17 (23%) and ≥65 (14%). Most were admitted emergently vs. urgently (70.2 vs. 26.4%), and during the weekday (72%). LOS 0-7 days (61%) was most prevalent. Inpatient mortality rate was 4.45%. Aggregated hospitalization cost was $26,161,000. Mean cost per hospitalization was $89,592.47 (SD=$100,988.25), with no difference in cost per year (p=0.486). The mean rate of BM hospitalization was 6 per 100,000 patients. Those age 0-17 had higher mean cost than age 18-64 ($123,328.36 vs. $79,114.75, p=0.006) and age 65+ ($123,328.36 vs. $81,428.57, p=0.1). As LOS increased from 0-7 days to 8-14 days to 30+ days, cost increased (p<0.001). Urgent visits had $43,029.33 higher cost than emergent visits (p=0.004). Linear regression showed LOS 8-14 days, 15-30 days, 30+ days each predicted higher cost vs. LOS 0-7 days (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, respectively). Urgent visits predicted higher cost vs. elective visits (p=0.002). Expired patients predicted a cost of $85,644.95 greater than those discharged home (p<0.001).
These findings demonstrate BM hospitalization cost continues to have substantial economic burden on patients. Cost has been stable over this 7-year period. Younger age, greater LOS, and urgent visits had higher hospitalization cost. LOS, urgent visits, and expired patients predicted higher cost.
What will audience learn from your presentation?
- With the rising cost of healthcare, it is vital to understand the current cost burden of bacterial meningitis for patients. This study provides the most recent cost analysis for hospitalization of bacterial meningitis in the USA.
- Physicians and researchers can use this data to understand the patient populations they are treating, and therefore explore methods of decreasing overall costs. This may lead to research into efficient use of diagnostic techniques, biomarkers ordered, and treatments and other prescribed interventions.