Innovative assessment of inpatient and pulmonary drug costs for children with cystic fibrosis

Joseph F. Levy, Marjorie A. Rosenberg, Philip M. Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Previous estimates of the cost of care for pediatric Cystic fibrosis (CF) showed wide variation, without specific summary of pulmonary drug costs. Methods: Enrolled CF children from the Wisconsin newborn screening trial were evaluated quarterly per protocol. Assessments systematically included all treatments, hospitalizations, and nutritional and pulmonary outcomes. Direct medical costs from hospital billing and medical records from 1989 to 2010 were used to describe costs by age-ranges and subgroups throughout follow-up. Outpatient drugs were separated by category (pulmonary/otherwise). Inpatient and drug costs were examined by clinical risk factors (presence of meconium ileus, pancreatic insufficiency, and expected severity of genetic mutations). Results: Seventy-three children were followed for an average of 12.9 years with an average annual total cost of care of $24,768. Outpatient drug costs (53%) and hospitalizations (32%) represented the majority of costs. Drug costs were 48% for pulmonary indications and 52% for non-pulmonary. Pulmonary drug costs for children taking dornase were 54% of their drug costs while pulmonary drug costs were only 31% for children not taking dornase. Significant differences in frequency of inpatient stays existed for children with pancreatic insufficiency. Substantial differences in treatment costs exist as children age and by clinical risk factor. Conclusion: This study provides more accurate longitudinal estimates of CF care costs throughout childhood and shows that increasing age, pancreatic insufficiency, use of dornase, and hospitalizations are key determinants of cost. These estimates can be included in evaluations of the cost-effectiveness of new, highly expensive treatments being introduced for any CF population. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016;51:1295–1303.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1303
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • cost of care
  • cost of illness
  • hospitalizations
  • newborn screening
  • pulmonary costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Innovative assessment of inpatient and pulmonary drug costs for children with cystic fibrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this