Inhaled Corticosteroid Claims and Outpatient Visits After Hospitalization for Asthma Among Commercially Insured Children

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine rates of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) claims and outpatient follow-up after asthma hospitalization among commercially insured children.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of children hospitalized for asthma using 2013 national Truven MarketScan data. Covariates included age, sex, region, length of stay, and having an ICS claim within 35 days before hospitalization. Outcome variables were a claim for any ICS-containing medication and outpatient visit within 30 days after discharge. Multivariable analysis used logistic regression.

RESULTS:

A total of 5471 children aged 2 to 17 were included; 61% were boys, and mean age was 6.8 years. Forty-one percent had a claim for an ICS and 76% had an outpatient visit within 30 days after hospital discharge. In multivariable analysis, children who had an ICS claim within 35 days before the hospitalization were more likely to have an ICS claim within 30 days after discharge (relative risk [RR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-1.5). The strongest predictor of an ICS claim within 30 days after discharge was attendance at an outpatient appointment (RR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3-1.6). Children aged 2 to 6 were more likely to attend an outpatient appointment (RR 1.1, 95% CI 1.1-1.2). Children with an ICS claim before admission were also more likely to attend an outpatient appointment (RR 1.1, 95% CI 1.004-1.1).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this national sample of commercially insured children with asthma, rates of ICS claims after hospitalization are low despite high rates of outpatient visits. Both inpatient and outpatient physicians must play a role in increasing ICS adherence in this high-risk population of children with asthma.

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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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