Background: Epilepsy is particularly frequent among children, yet updated and nationwide healthcare utilization estimates are scanty in the United States. Objective: To analyze healthcare utilization among children with epilepsy. Methods: Data on children (≤17-year-old) were extracted from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) 2003–2014. Epilepsy was identified using the clinical classification code 83. Healthcare utilization (Inpatient admission, outpatient visits, prescription medication including refill, emergency room visits, and home health provider visits) was compared between children with epilepsy and those without epilepsy. A negative binomial model was used to assess the relationship between epilepsy and healthcare utilizations accounting for the influence of extraneous factors. Results: In all, a weighted 457,873 children (0.84%) had epilepsy in United States. The unadjusted proportion and the mean annual number of health care service utilization were higher in children with epilepsy compared to those without epilepsy. Children with epilepsy had almost 3.3 more outpatient visits (95% CI: 2.281–4.274), 7.9 more medication prescriptions including refills (95% CI: 6.058–9.662), nearly 0.4 more emergency department visits (95% CI: 0.278–0.438) and nearly 12 more home health provider visits (95% CI: 1.988–21.756) than those without epilepsy. The adjusted marginal effect of epilepsy on inpatient admission was not statistically significant. Conclusion: unadjusted and adjusted healthcare utilization is considerably higher in children with epilepsy compared to those without epilepsy in the United States with heterogeneity across individual services.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology