Study design: Retrospective analysis of data from a large, nationally representative, administrative U.S. claims database.
Explore This IssueJuly 2012
Setting: Duke Voice Care Center, Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina; Division of Public Health and Study Design and Biostatistics Center, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Center for Outcomes Research, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria; Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California-San Francisco.
Synopsis: Age, gender, geographic location, employment status, type of medical encounter, physician specialty, pharmacy claims and procedure claims were collected for each of 309,300 patients with 12 months follow-up. Acute and chronic laryngitis, nonspecific causes of dysphonia and benign vocal fold lesions were the most common etiologies. Total direct costs ranged between $178,524,552 and $294,827,671, with mean costs per person between $577.18 and $953.21.
Pharmacy claims accounted for 20.1 percent to 33.3 percent, procedure claims for 50.4 percent to 69.9 percent and medical encounter claims for 16.3 percent to 8.6 percent of overall direct costs. Antireflux medication accounted for roughly 10 percent and antibiotics 6 percent of annual direct costs.
Bottom line: The evaluation and management of patients with laryngeal disorders has associated mean direct costs of $577.18 to $953.21 per patient in 12 months, and national annual cost estimates were comparable to other chronic disease states.
Reference: Cohen SM, Kim J, Roy N, Asche C, Courey M. Direct health care costs of laryngeal diseases and disorders. Laryngoscope. 122(7):1582-1588.
—Reviewed by Sue Pondrom