Objective To estimate annual per-patient health services utilization and costs of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in the United States.
Methods A retrospective claims analysis of patients with RP (N = 2990) and a 1:1 exactly matched cohort of non-RP patients was conducted using the MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental Databases. Individuals were continuously enrolled in a commercial health plan or employer-sponsored health insurance for at least 1 year. The following annual outcomes were analyzed using nonlinear multivariate models: inpatient hospital admissions, inpatient hospital days, emergency department visits, outpatient physician visits, and prescription drug refills and inpatient and outpatient medical, pharmacy, and total health care costs.
Results Patients with RP had 0.04 more hospital admissions (P < .001), 0.19 more inpatient hospital days (P < .02), 0.05 more emergency department visits (P < .01), 2.74 more outpatient visits (P < .001), and 2.18 additional prescription drug fills (P < .001) annually compared with their non-RP counterparts. Health care expenditures were significantly higher for patients with RP, who cost $894, $4855, and $452 more for inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy services, respectively (P < .001). Overall health care costs were $7317 more per patient per year in the RP cohort, with expenditures varying considerably by age.
Conclusions Patients with RP consume substantially greater amounts of health services with significantly higher health care costs.
Clinical Relevance Treatments that slow, halt, or possibly restore RP-related vision loss may prove cost-effective for payers and society.