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Indirect, out-of-pocket and medical costs from influenza-related illness in young children.

Ortega-Sanchez IR, Molinari NA, Fairbrother G, Szilagyi PG, Edwards KM, Griffin MR, Cassedy A, Poehling KA, Bridges C, Staat MA
Vaccine. 2012 30 (28): 4175-81

PMID: 22546332 · DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.04.057

BACKGROUND - Studies have documented direct medical costs of influenza-related illness in young children, however little is known about the out-of-pocket and indirect costs (e.g., missed work time) incurred by caregivers of children with medically attended influenza.

OBJECTIVE - To determine the indirect, out-of-pocket (OOP), and direct medical costs of laboratory-confirmed medically attended influenza illness among young children.

METHODS - Using a population-based surveillance network, we evaluated a representative group of children aged <5 years with laboratory-confirmed, medically attended influenza during the 2003-2004 season. Children hospitalized or seen in emergency department (ED) or outpatient settings in surveillance counties with laboratory-confirmed influenza were identified and data were collected from medical records, accounting databases, and follow-up interviews with caregivers. Outcome measures included work time missed, OOP expenses (e.g., over-the-counter medicines, travel expenses), and direct medical costs. Costs were estimated (in 2009 US Dollars) and comparisons were made among children with and without high risk conditions for influenza-related complications.

RESULTS - Data were obtained from 67 inpatients, 121 ED patients and 92 outpatients with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Caregivers of hospitalized children missed an average of 73 work hours (estimated cost $1456); caregivers of children seen in the ED and outpatient clinics missed 19 ($383) and 11 work hours ($222), respectively. Average OOP expenses were $178, $125 and $52 for inpatients, ED-patients and outpatients, respectively. OOP and indirect costs were similar between those with and without high risk conditions (p>0.10). Medical costs totaled $3990 for inpatients and $730 for ED-patients.

CONCLUSIONS - Out-of-pocket and indirect costs of laboratory-confirmed and medically attended influenza in young children are substantial and support the benefits of vaccination.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

MeSH Terms (10)

Child, Preschool Female Health Expenditures Humans Infant Infant, Newborn Influenza, Human Interviews as Topic Male United States

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