High Cost of Hospitalization for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Ambulatory treatment is more cost-effective for teens with pelvic inflammatory disease

THURSDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulatory treatment, either in emergency rooms or outpatient clinics, was more cost-effective than hospitalizing teen girls with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Maria Trent, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues reviewed patient records from a large, urban, academic hospital center from May 2008 to April 2009. Investigators identified patients aged 12 to 21 with PID, estimated the cost of their medical care, and examined factors that lead to the high cost of PID treatment for adolescents.

The investigators identified 172 hospital visits among 152 PID patients. Outpatient visits had an average cost per patient of $701, compared with $1,382 for treatment in the emergency room and $8,480 for teens hospitalized on a medical unit. Hospitalization charges were even higher for those girls who were treated on a psychiatric unit and averaged $13,360 per patient. Nearly 70 percent of the patients sought care in an emergency room setting, which may be tied to the lack of primary care options for the study population, 93.6 percent of whom had Medicaid or were uninsured.

"Efforts to increase utilization of outpatient clinics by adolescents for PID care and to standardize care across units may reduce the within-system costs for PID treatment, while also improving quality of care," the authors write.

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