Published online Dec 21, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i47.6857
Peer-review started: June 17, 2019
First decision: August 3, 2019
Revised: November 20, 2019
Accepted: November 23, 2019
Article in press: November 23, 2019
Published online: December 21, 2019
The burden of carcinoid syndrome (CS) among patients with neuroendocrine tumors is substantial and has been shown to result in increased healthcare resource use and costs. The incremental burden of CS diarrhea (CSD) is less well understood, particularly among working age adults who make up a large proportion of the population of patients with CS.
To estimate the direct medical costs of CSD to a self-insured employer in the United States.
CS patients with and without CSD were identified in the IBM® MarketScan® Database, including the Medicare Supplemental Coordination of Benefits database. Eligible patients had ≥ 1 medical claim for CS with continuous health plan enrollment for ≥ 12 mo prior to their first CS diagnosis and for ≥ 30 d after, no claims for acromegaly, and no clinical trial participation during the study period (2014-2016). Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, including comorbidities and treatment, were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Measures of healthcare resource use and costs were compared between patients with and without CSD, including Emergency Department (ED) visits, hospital admissions and length of stay, physician office visits, outpatient services, and prescription claims, using univariate and multivariate analyses to evaluate associations of CSD with healthcare resource use and costs, controlling for baseline characteristics.
Overall, 6855 patients with CS were identified of which 4,043 were eligible for the analysis (1352 with CSD, 2691 with CS only). Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics were similar between groups with the exception of age, underlying tumor type, and health insurance plan. Patients with CSD were older, had more comorbidities, and received more somatostatin analog therapy at baseline. Patients with CSD required greater use of healthcare resources and incurred higher costs than their peers without CSD, including hospitalizations (44% vs 25%) and ED visits (55% vs 31%). The total adjusted annual healthcare costs per patient were 50% higher (+ $23865) among those with CSD, driven by outpatient services (+ 56%), prescriptions (+ 48%), ED visits (+ 26%), physician office visits (+ 21%), and hospital admissions (+ 11%).
The economic burden of CSD is greater than that of CS alone among insured working age adults in the United States, which may benefit from timely diagnosis and management.
Core tip: Healthcare resource use and costs among patients with carcinoid syndrome (CS) are known to be high, but the incremental burden of CS diarrhea (CSD) is less well understood. We analyzed insured, working age CS patients with and without CSD using the MarketScan® database (2014-2016) and observed a greater economic burden in the presence of CSD. Patients with CSD required more healthcare resources than their peers without CSD, including hospitalizations (44% vs 25%) and Emergency Department visits (55% vs 31%). Total adjusted mean annual costs per patient were 50% higher (+ $25865), driven largely by the use of more outpatient services (+56%).