Background: In many countries, the burden of asthma is sufficient to warrant recognition as a high-priority disorder in governmental health strategies. However, the components of the total health-care costs for pediatric patients with asthma have not been well studied, and an overall understanding of health-care utilization patterns in this population is lacking in Taiwan. Methods: A total of 33 461 patients aged 3-17 years who were enrolled in the National Health Insurance Research database from 1 January to 31 December 2002 were evaluated. Health-care utilization and costs, including those related to office, outpatient hospital, emergency department, and inpatient hospital visits were compared between pediatric patients with and without asthma. Results: In 2002, the period prevalence of treated asthma was 6.0%. Pediatric patients with asthma used substantially more services than did those without asthma in all categories. Hospital outpatient visits and overall health-care expenditure for patients with asthma were 2.2-fold higher than those of patients without asthma. Asthma care represented 20% of all health-care services that patients with asthma received, while the remaining 80% were for non-asthma care. Almost three-fourths of all asthma-related costs were attributable to office and hospital outpatient visits; one-fourth was attributable to urgent care and hospitalizations. Conclusions: These findings may serve as baseline data for future evaluation of changes in health-care utilization and expenditure among pediatric patients with asthma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health