OBJECTIVE:Chronic infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is the primary cause of pulmonary deterioration in cystic fibrosis (CF). This study describes healthcare costs and resource utilization among CF patients following PA infection in the US.
METHODS:This retrospective study utilized data from MarketScan claims database. CF patients with an initial PA infection were identified, and their healthcare utilization, medical and pharmacy costs were extracted for 12 months, pre- and post-PA infection. Descriptive and pair-wise non-parametric statistical analyses compared healthcare utilization and costs before and after infection.
RESULTS:Three hundred and fifty-eight CF patients met study criteria (mean age 20.1 years; 48% female). Mean annual per-patient costs following initial PA infection increased by an estimated $18,516 (outpatient: $3113; inpatient: $10,123; pharmacy: $4943). Overall healthcare costs were significantly higher (p < 0.0001) following PA infection, as were overall inpatient visits, outpatient visits, and unique prescriptions (p < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS:PA infection in cystic fibrosis creates a significant economic burden and the cost is not uniformly distributed across the healthcare components.
LIMITATIONS:Key limitations of this study include the absence of clinical parameters to characterize PA infections and data on indirect costs such as loss of productivity or caretaker-related burden.