Costs of Hospital Care for Hypertension in an Insured Population Without an Outpatient Medicines Benefit: An Observational Study in the Philippines
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CitationWagner, Anita K., Madeleine Valera, Amy J. Graves, Sheila Laviña, and Dennis Ross-Degnan. 2008. Costs of hospital care for hypertension in an insured population without an outpatient medicines benefit: an observational study in the Philippines. BMC Health Services Research 8: 161.
AbstractBackground: Hypertension is the number one attributable risk factor for death throughout the world and a major contributor to morbidity, mortality, and increasing health care expenditures in the Philippines. Lack of access to outpatient antihypertensive medicines leads to avoidable disease progression and costly inpatient admissions. We estimated the cost to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), which generally does not cover outpatient medicines, for inpatient care for hypertension and its sequelae. Methods: Using PhilHealth inpatient claims for discharges between July 1, 2002 and December 31, 2005, we describe costs to PhilHealth for hospitalizations classified by primary discharge diagnoses into hospitalizations for hypertension; hypertensive heart and/or renal disease; other definite; and other possible consequences of untreated hypertension and assess disease trajectory for patients with more than one admission. Results: PhilHealth reimbursed US $56 million for 444,628 hospitalizations for hypertension-related diagnoses incurred by 360,016 patients during 3.5 years; 42% of admissions were for essential or secondary hypertension; 19% for hypertensive heart or renal disease; and 39% for other consequences of untreated hypertension. Among 60,659 patients admitted during the first 18 months of the study with a diagnosis of essential or secondary hypertension, 9% were hospitalized again for treatment of sequelae; older individuals (vs. =< 40 years old), men, dependents (vs. members), and those who were employed (vs. in the private membership category) were more likely to be hospitalized again; as were those whose first admission during the study period was for consequences of hypertension (vs. essential or secondary hypertension). Conclusion: Inpatient care for hypertension and its sequelae is expensive. Since many hospitalizations may be avoided with antihypertensive pharmacologic therapy, an outpatient medicines benefit may be one cost-effective policy option for PhilHealth.
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