Medical care costs of Paget's disease of bone in a privately insured population

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Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine; Meyers Primary Care Institute

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Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Female; *Health Care Costs; Humans; *Insurance, Health; Male; Middle Aged; Osteitis Deformans


Health Services Research | Primary Care


INTRODUCTION: Medical care costs are difficult to calculate in diseases such as Paget's disease because they have low detection rates and a wide range of clinical manifestations that commonly occur in aging patient populations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using 2001-2002 MarketScan Research databases, this study linked medical claims, prescription records, and encounter data on 2.8 million active and retired employees to create a longitudinal panel with 24 months of observation. Patients with Paget's disease were identified by ICD-9 code 731.0. Matched controls (MC) were identified through an exact match procedure using gender, age, and predicted Medicare costs estimated with a risk adjuster. Diagnostic and expenditure records were extracted for the sample and prevalence rates calculated for 20 conditions with well-documented associations to Paget's disease. Comorbidities and health care costs of Paget's disease patients were compared to those of the MCs, and the differences tested using Chi-square and t tests.

RESULTS: Our study identified 244 matched pairs. The average age was 72.7 years; 50.8% were female. Significantly higher comorbidities (P < 0.05) were detected in Paget's disease patients relative to MCs for: pathological fractures (4.9% vs. 0.4%), heart murmurs (3.3% vs. 0.4%), low back pain (19.7% vs. 8.6%), spinal stenosis (16.4% vs. 9.8%), and hearing loss (13.5% vs. 5.7%), respectively. Biannual per patient outpatient costs were significantly higher in Paget's disease patients (Paget's disease $9301 vs. MC $6339, P < 0.05), especially for services associated with physician visits and diagnostic tests. Prescription costs for antiresportive agents and analgesics were also higher (Paget's disease $1115 vs. MC $507, P < 0.05). Inpatient costs (Paget's disease $16,144 vs. MC $21,480) were comparable.

CONCLUSION: This study is the first to describe the excessive costs of Paget's disease, based on known patterns of disease expression, evaluation, and treatment.

DOI of Published Version



Bone. 2006 May;38(5):731-7. Epub 2005 Dec 20. Link to article on publisher's site

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