Objective: To compare health care use and spending in children using vs not using respiratory medical equipment and supplies (RMES).
Study design: Cohort study of 20 352 children age 1-18 years continuously enrolled in Medicaid in 2013 from 12 states in the Truven Medicaid MarketScan Database; 7060 children using RMES were propensity score matched with 13 292 without RMES. Home RMES use was identified with Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System and International Classification of Diseases codes. RMES use was regressed on annual per-member-per-year Medicaid payments, adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics, including underlying respiratory and other complex chronic conditions.
Results: Of children requiring RMES, 47% used oxygen, 28% suction, 22% noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation, 17% tracheostomy, 8% ventilator, 5% mechanical in-exsufflator, and 4% high-frequency chest wall oscillator. Most children (93%) using RMES had a chronic condition; 26% had ≥6. The median per-member-per-year payments in matched children with vs without RMES were $24 359 vs $13 949 (P < .001). In adjusted analyses, payment increased significantly (P < .001 for all) with mechanical in-exsufflator (+$2657), tracheostomy (+$6447), suction (+$7341), chest wall oscillator (+$8925), and ventilator (+$20 530). Those increased payments were greater than the increase associated with a coded respiratory chronic condition (+$2709). Hospital and home health care were responsible for the greatest differences in payment (+$3799 and +$3320, respectively) between children with and without RMES.
Conclusion: The use of RMES is associated with high health care spending, especially with hospital and home health care. Population health initiatives in children may benefit from consideration of RMES in comprehensive risk assessment for health care spending.
Keywords: children with medical complexity; health care resource use; respiratory medical equipment and supplies.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.