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Clinical Investigations: COMMUNITY-ACQUIRED PNEUMONIA |

Treatment Costs of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in an Employed Population*

Gene L. Colice, MD, FCCP; Melissa A. Morley, MA; Carl Asche, PhD; Howard G. Birnbaum, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Pulmonary, Critical Care and Respiratory Services (Dr. Colice), Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC; Analysis Group (Ms. Morely and Dr. Birnbaum), Boston, MA; and Aventis Pharmaceuticals (Dr. Asche), Bridgewater, NJ.

Correspondence to: Gene L. Colice, MD, FCCP, Director, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Respiratory Services, Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010; e-mail Gene.Colice@Medstar.net



Chest. 2004;125(6):2140-2145. doi:10.1378/chest.125.6.2140
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Background: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a serious clinical problem, causing hospitalization in about 20% of cases and death in up to 16% of hospitalized patients. Work-loss cost estimates indicate that the treatment of CAP also has a large economic impact. The purpose of this study was to assess the medical and prescription drug (treatment) costs of managing CAP in an employed population.

Method: The costs of CAP were determined from an administrative claims database covering the years 1996 to 1998 for an employed population and their dependents [65 years of age (100,000 population)]. Treatment costs for managing both inpatient and outpatient cases of CAP were calculated from payments by the health plan.

Results: A total of 7,249 episodes of CAP among 6,415 individuals were identified. The hospitalization rate was 19.6%, and the mortality rate for those hospitalized was 9.1%. Patients requiring hospitalization were older and had more comorbid conditions. The mean (± SD) treatment cost for an inpatient episode of CAP (including all inpatient and outpatient medical care) was $10,227 ± 15,342. The costs for inpatients who died during hospitalization (mean cost, $15,822 ± 26,541) were higher than for episodes in which patients were discharged from the hospital alive (mean cost, $9,595 ± 13,641). The mean treatment cost for an outpatient episode of CAP was $466 ± 1,038.

Conclusions: The treatment cost of managing CAP in this employed population was higher than previously estimated. It is estimated that the annual cost of treating CAP in the United States is $12.2 billion.

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