Objective: Assess the impact of esophageal candidiasis on US hospital inpatient charges, length of stay (LOS), and costs across clinically relevant subgroups.
Methods: Total hospital charge (THC) and LOS data extracted from the 2005 National Inpatient Sample (NIS) were compared for patients with and without esophageal candidiasis within the top 20 most commonly assigned Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) for the disease. Total hospital costs were estimated using hospital charges in the 2005 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) file and hospital cost-to-charge ratios published in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service's (CMS) 2005 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Standardization File.
Results: Across 274 DRGs, 45 727 esophageal candidiasis patients were identified. Mean age was 50.8 years; 52.5% were female, 59.3% Caucasian. Median LOS was 7 days; median THC was $25 649. Of all esophageal candidiasis cases identified, 65% fell into the top 20 most commonly assigned DRGs. Within this subset, HIV-related DRGs accounted for 22% of the esophageal candidiasis cases. The difference in mean THC and LOS for esophageal candidiasis patients in HIV-related DRGs was not significant. However, total hospital costs were higher for esophageal candidiasis patients in this subset ($11 886 vs. $10 534, p < 0.01). The remaining 78% of esophageal candidiasis cases were assigned to 19 non-HIV-related DRGs. Mean LOS, THC, and total hospital costs were significantly higher for esophageal candidiasis patients within these 19 non-HIV-related DRGs, (8.4 vs. 6.1; $35 704 vs. $23 874, and $10 917 vs. $7474, p < 0.01 in all cases).
Conclusions: Esophageal candidiasis affects a wide range of patient groups; it increases LOS and total charges within non-HIV-related hospitalizations. Although the costs presented in this study are estimates, they do suggest a significant increase in cost among esophageal candidiasis cases. Future studies on treatment and preventive care strategies for esophageal candidiasis should not be limited to HIV patients, but instead performed across a wider range of disease settings.