The causes of admission and the distribution of direct medical costs were examined to establish the clinical predictors of high hospitalization costs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This retrospective study included all rheumatoid arthritis patients who were hospitalized in the Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia, between January 1999 and June 2003. Data were obtained from the medical records and from the hospital statistical section using a cost-analysis spreadsheet. A total of 41 patients were hospitalized 62 times (0.34 hospitalization per patient per year). Disease activity was the most important cause of admission (60%), followed by surgery (18%), and infection (10%). In 30 (48%) hospitalizations, at least one comorbidity was recorded, with cardiovascular disease being the most frequent (32%). The mean length of stay per patient was 5+/-6 days. The mean total cost was 1,277 US dollars, and the mean cost per day of hospitalization was 235 US dollars. Medications represented 54% of the total cost, whereas that representing medical care was only 3%. Variance analysis disclosed cardiovascular disease as the most important determinant of high costs (p<0.01). In conclusion, the direct costs for inpatients with rheumatoid arthritis were considerable, and arose mainly from organic complications. Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease are indispensable not only to reduce the economic burden of rheumatoid arthitis, but also to diminish the risk of mortality. These data assist in the estimation of health care resources and in the selection of public health policies for the improvement of patient outcomes.
|Translated title of the contribution||Impact of cardiovascular illness on hospitalization costs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Biomédica : revista del Instituto Nacional de Salud|
|State||Published - Dec 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)