Navigation Links
Are you listening? Kids' ear infections cost health care system nearly $3 billion a year
Date:1/9/2014

Acute otitis media, or ear infection, is the most common ailment among kids of preschool age and younger in the U.S., primarily because these children have immature middle-ear drainage systems, higher exposure to respiratory illnesses and undeveloped immune systems.

And because it's also the most common reason for antibiotic use among all children, the costs associated with acute otitis media (AOM) are under more scrutiny than ever by health care and government administrators, especially given today's political and economic climate, strained health-care resources and cost-containment efforts.

While estimates of the economic impact of AOM have been formulated in the past, a new study by UCLA and Harvard University researchers is the first to use a national population database that gives a direct, head-to-head comparison of expenditures for pediatric patients diagnosed with ear infections and similar patients without ear infections.

The findings show that AOM is associated with significant increases in direct costs incurred by consumers and the health care system. With its high prevalence across the U.S., pediatric AOM accounts for approximately $2.88 billion in added health care expenses annually and is a significant health-care utilization concern.

The research is published in the current edition of the journal The Laryngoscope.

"Although the annual incidence of ear infection may be declining in the U.S., the number of kids affected remains high, and the public health implications of AOM are substantial," said study co-author Dr. Nina Shapiro, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and a professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "As our health care system continues to be vigorously discussed around the nation, efforts to control costs and allocate resources appropriately are of prime importance."

For the study, the researchers examined records of pediatric patients under the age of 18 culled from the 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a national survey conducted by the Agency for Health Research and Quality which serves a benchmark data-set specifically designed for the assessment of health care costs.

Of the 81.5 million children the researchers sampled, 8.7 million had received care for ear infections. The rates of visits to the doctor's office, refills of prescription medications and health care costs associated with doctor visits were then compared between those with diagnosed ear infections and those without. The rates were adjusted for age, sex, region, race, ethnicity, insurance status and co-morbidities.

The researchers found that children with ear infections had an average of two additional outpatient visits, 0.2 emergency visits and 1.6 prescriptions filled, compared with those without ear infections.

Ear infections were associated with an incremental increase of $314 per child annually for outpatient health care and an average of $17 in additional costs for medications. This resulted in an overall $2.88 billion annual cost for ear infections.

"Although certain immunizations that target infection-causing bacteria may play a role in slightly reducing the overall rate of ear infections, millions of young kids will still have them," Shapiro said. "The take-home message is that the common ear infection is an extremely costly entity with significant financial burdens on the health care system."

Future studies on the health care cost associated with AOM may include analyzing the indirect costs, such as work and school days missed, gasoline costs and parking charges for outpatient visits, the researchers said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study Suggests Treating Dyslexia Before Kids Learn to Read
3. Heavy Backpacks Give Kids Back Trouble
4. Codeine After Surgery Could Endanger Certain Kids: Study
5. Study Shows New Option for Kids With Tough-to-Treat Leukemia
6. Parents of Kids With Cancer No More Likely to Break Up
7. Death From Accidental Injuries Among Kids Drops 30%: CDC
8. Rice University student engineers automate limb lengthening for kids
9. When to have kids: A complex question for hazel dormice
10. Animals More Interesting to Kids Than Toys, Study Shows
11. Some Schools Dont Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... to provide information about cosmetic procedures, began updating their library of over 300 ... of their published articles in order to feature the latest breakthroughs in plastic ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... Chesterfield, Missouri, campus, Standard Process Inc. awarded $6,000 in chiropractic scholarships. ... Chloe Tillman. Each student is in her fifth trimester of classes at Logan. ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... Octo Consulting ... to the federal government, is proud to announce they have recently won two awards ... International’s 2016 Small Business of the Year. Additionally, Octo VP of Civilian Affairs, ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... offers quality products, but also provides inspection and repair services for MadgeTech data ... product and contribute to making them one of MadgeTech's most praised and valued ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... the Best Device Sample Size for Verification and Validation:, Tools to Safely ... 3:00 p.m. ET, http://www.fdanews.com/bestdevicesamplesizevv                  , Today's FDA inspectors focus ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 The World Health Organization (WHO) expanded ... to include adolescents aged 13 years, and above. Effective immediately, ... for adult and adolescent males in the 14 priority countries ... was the first male circumcision device to receive WHO Prequalification ... Eddy Horowitz said: " The expanded use ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... UAE, May 23, 2016 Experts ... of Precision Medicine and the role of technology ...   The First International Conference of VPS-Penn Medicine ... distinguished patronage and presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al ... in Precision Medicine, which helps provide personalized medicine and tailor-made ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 The global  ... 5.0 billion by 2022, according to a new study ... medical waste coupled with the lack of centralized support ... to drive the demand for reprocessed medical devices market. ... compared to that of the original device is the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: