Objectives: Few studies have characterized healthcare resource utilization among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The objective of this study is to assess healthcare resource utilization among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis as compared to members without this condition.
Methods: Patients newly diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were identified from a national administrative claims database (2006-2011) as having ≥ 2 claims with idiopathic fibrosing alveolitis, or ≥ 1 claim with idiopathic fibrosing alveolitis and ≥ 1 claim with post-inflammatory pulmonary fibrosis (earliest claim with idiopathic fibrosing alveolitis denoted the index date), a procedure of lung biopsy or high-resolution computed tomography within ± 90 days of the index date, 12-month pre-index continuous enrollment, plus ≥ 2 confirmatory idiopathic fibrosing alveolitis diagnoses after the procedure. For each idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patient, three members without the condition were matched by age/gender/region/payer type. Demographic/clinical characteristics were measured during the 1-year pre-index period. Healthcare resource utilization was assessed by quarter during 1-year pre- and post-index periods. Generalized estimating equation models controlling for patient characteristics were constructed to estimate adjusted post-index healthcare resource utilization.
Results: In total, 1735 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and 5205 without (mean age = 71.5 years; 46.1% female) were included. Adjusted results revealed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients were more likely to use healthcare resources than members without the condition 1-year post-index (number of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and outpatients visits: 0.63 vs 0.31, 0.62 vs 0.48, and 5.7 vs 3.1 per person-year, respectively).
Conclusions: Healthcare resource utilization is considerably higher among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis than members without the condition. Effective treatments for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis are needed to help reduce burden of healthcare resource use.
Keywords: Comorbidity; Economic burden; Healthcare resource utilization; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Retrospective observational study.