Hospital utilization patterns and costs for adult sickle cell patients in Illinois

Public Health Rep. 1997 Jan-Feb;112(1):44-51.


Objectives: To determine population size, demographic characteristics, hospital utilization patterns, the specialties of physicians providing care, and costs for hospitalized adult sickle cell patients in Illinois.

Methods: A statewide, administrative dataset for the two-year period from january 1992 through December 1993 was analyzed retrospectively.

Results: There were 8403 admissions among 1189 individual sickle cell patients for the two-year period. Eighty-five percent of patients resided in the Chicago metropolitan area. The median age of the 1189 patients was 29; two-thirds had Medicaid or Medicare coverage. Emergency departments were the primary source of admissions (85.7%). The most common admitting diagnosis was painful crisis (97.4%), and average length of stay was four days. The median number of admissions per patient was three; most patients (85%) used only one or two hospitals. A small group used more than four hospitals and accounted for 23% of statewide admissions. Primary care physicians cared for most patients, and total hospitalization charges were more than $59 million.

Conclusions: In Illinois the adult sickle cell population is concentrated in major urban centers, primarily the Chicago metropolitan area. These patients accounted for approximately 8400 admissions and more than $59 million in hospital charges during the two-year study period. A small group of patients used multiple hospitals and accounted for more than 23% of total hospitalization charges. This study shows the necessity of and provides a useful framework for developing targeted programs for adult sickle cell patients as well as for training physicians to efficiently provide comprehensive health care services for this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / economics*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hospital Charges
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Costs / trends*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Illinois / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Retrospective Studies