Objectives: To examine patient and hospital characteristics associated with varying hospital charges for children admitted with asthma.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of children (1-18 years old) hospitalized with asthma using data from the 2000 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID; n = 54,029). Predictors of interest included hospital type (teaching and children's hospitals) and patient characteristics (insurance type and race).
Results: After adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics, hospital charges were similar at teaching and nonteaching hospitals. Charges at children's hospitals were higher by 440 US dollars or 10% (95% CI, 352-528) compared with nonchildren's hospitals. Children with Medicaid had higher charges by 132 US dollars or 3% (95% CI, 57-264) compared to those with private insurance. Compared to White children, Black children had higher charges by 396 US dollars or 10% (95% CI, 352-484), Hispanic children by 924 US dollars or 21% (95% CI, 880-1,012), and Asian children by 572 US dollars or 13% (572 US dollars; 95% CI, 352-792).
Conclusions: Important differences exist in the charges incurred by children with asthma based on patient and hospital characteristics. Efforts to understand the reasons behind the differences may help eliminate unnecessary variation in costs for asthma care.