Navigation Links
U.S. Children's Hospitals Treating More Complex, Expensive Conditions
Date:12/27/2012

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- An in-depth profile of many U.S. children's hospitals suggests that children with complex chronic diseases such as cerebral palsy are taking up an increasingly larger share of hospital resources.

The finding raises concerns about how well freestanding pediatric hospitals can handle a rapidly growing group of patients that are, by definition, difficult and expensive to care for.

"Children with medical complexity are often relying on a myriad of services to get their health care needs met," said study lead author Dr. Jay Berry, an assistant professor of pediatrics with Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. "These services include primary and specialty care, home nursing and case management."

Most children seen in hospitals are healthy overall, but require treatment for an acute sickness, such as pneumonia, the authors stressed. But a minority of children suffer from lifelong chronic sickness, such as those born with heart disease; neurological diseases such as cerebral palsy, which impairs muscle tone and movement; or Down syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that affects the nervous system and may include heart, hearing and skeletal problems.

It's not unusual for children with complex conditions to see 10 to 15 different care providers throughout the year, Berry said. "They tend to have a lot of appointments," he added.

Two main factors are driving up hospital use by children with medically complex conditions, he noted. "One, survival for these children has improved. They are living longer, but at the expense of developing secondary co-morbid conditions that often require hospital care for treatment," he said.

"Two, care coordination for these children is inadequate," he added. "With better care coordination and proactive care planning, we believe that the children would be healthier and not need to come into the hospital so often."

Berry and his colleagues discussed their findings in the Dec. 24 online issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

To assess trends in admissions at children's hospitals, Berry's team studied data for more than 1.5 million pediatric patients hospitalized at least once at one of 28 urban pediatric hospitals between 2004 and 2009.

All the hospitals provide patient information to the Pediatric Health Information System, which represents about half of the nation's freestanding children's hospitals. Patients of all ages were included, given that many kids over age 18 continue receiving care at children's hospitals as they age.

Although there was a significant increase in pediatric hospitalizations during the study time frame, hospitals saw a bigger rise in the admissions of chronically sick children (up by more than 19 percent) compared with those who did not have a chronic condition (up by less than 14 percent).

The biggest increase (nearly 33 percent) was seen among children diagnosed with a severe chronic illness that affected at least two body systems. The most common combination of conditions was cerebral palsy and asthma. By 2009 this group of children constituted more than 19 percent of all the hospitalized patients, and contributed to more than 50 percent ($9.2 billion) of hospital charges, the study found.

Based on the findings, Berry suggested that children's hospitals need to proactively prepare financially and organizationally for the long-term likelihood that their patient pool will become increasingly sicker as a whole, and thereby more difficult and costly to treat.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Steven Altschuler, chief executive officer of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that although many factors contribute to the overall trend, the bottom-line conclusion is not surprising.

"Most pediatric programs in smaller community hospitals do not have the resources or expertise to care for these chronically ill children with multiple problems," he said. The large pediatric hospitals are able to integrate care involving multiple physicians across different specialties, "so these findings are not unexpected."

More information

For more on pediatric chronic illness, visit KidsHealth.org.

SOURCES: Jay Berry, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, pediatrics, division of general pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Steven Altschuler, M.D, CEO, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Dec. 24, 2012, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Higher-spending hospitals have fewer deaths for emergency patients
2. Heart Attack Survival Varies Widely Among Hospitals, Study Finds
3. In Some Brain Bleeds, Patients Do Better at High-Volume Hospitals
4. Fewer prostate cancer surgery complications found in teaching hospitals with fellowship programs
5. Urban Hospitals May Act as Breeding Ground for MRSA
6. University Hospitals Case Medical Center experts present at ASCO Annual Meeting
7. Under pressure from Medicare, hospitals hold more seniors for observation
8. Ethics should drive health policy reform, especially with physician-owned specialty hospitals
9. Hospitals communication during residency matching may put stress on OB-GYN doctors-in-training
10. Becker's Hospital Review Shares 50 Top Grossing Hospitals in the Country
11. Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions Now Monitors Air Quality in Hospitals and Operating Rooms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
U.S. Children's Hospitals Treating More Complex, Expensive Conditions
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, ... in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in ... around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is ... a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted ... each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the loss ... author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ten ... the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, he ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in ... will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics ... PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s ... of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ANN ARBOR, Mich. , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical ... the precise destruction of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... Josh Stopek, PhD ... ... Veteran medical device executive ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD ... OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. ... strategic hub service that expedites and streamlines patient and ... Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... medical device used to measure lung function for a ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... , Sept. 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta has ... the Atlanta Football Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College ... Jan. 8, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, ... of the AFHC "I,m In" campaign, participating in many activities ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: