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Huang SP, Li X, Cao B, Nguyen JT, Robinson JE, Derebail VK, Hogan SL, Thorpe CT. Health care costs and utilization prior to diagnosis of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody vasculitis in Medicare beneficiaries. Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy. 2022 Nov 1; 28(11):1292-1303.
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) vasculitis (AV) is a complex group of autoimmune disorders affecting blood vessels in multiple organ systems. Delays in diagnosis are common because AV symptoms can be nonspecific and present heterogeneously. This may result in increased health care utilization in the months preceding diagnosis. To examine whether Medicare beneficiaries with AV experienced increased health care utilization and costs in the year before the first diagnosis recorded in claims, relative to beneficiaries without AV. This retrospective cohort study used 2015-2016 Medicare Part A/B claims and Part D prescription drug data. Beneficiaries with newly diagnosed AV were identified by having 1 or more inpatient claims or 2 or more noninpatient claims 7 or more days apart in 2016 with an Revision, code for AV, with no AV claims in the year prior. Beneficiaries with AV were matched 1:1 on age and sex to beneficiaries without any diagnoses for any type of systemic vasculitis in 2016. Beneficiaries with Part A/B coverage (AB, n = 1,460) and Part A/B/D coverage (ABD, n = 3,252) were analyzed separately. We estimated generalized linear mixed models with a negative binomial distribution to compare health care costs and utilization by AV status. Beneficiaries with AV had approximately 3 times higher Medicare Part A/B payments (incidence rate ratio [95% CI]: AB: 2.94 [2.44-3.53]; ABD: 2.95 [2.64-3.29]) and 2.5 times higher beneficiary Part A/B payments (AB: 2.47 [2.14-2.84]; ABD: 2.62 [2.40-2.87]) vs beneficiaries without AV. Beneficiaries with AV experienced significantly higher utilization across all categories, with the largest differences observed in hospital outpatient visits (AB: 2.69 [2.22-3.27]; ABD: 3.08 [2.73-3.47]). In the year prior to AV diagnosis, Medicare beneficiaries have significantly higher health care costs and utilization than beneficiaries without AV. Dr Huang was supported by the University of North Carolina and GlaxoSmithKline Health Outcomes Fellowship during the time of the study and reports current employment at Horizon Therapeutics, Deerfield, IL. Dr Nguyen received predoctoral funding through a fellowship appointment sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb during the time of the study and reports current employment at GlaxoSmithKline, Collegeville, PA. Dr Derebail receives personal fees from Travere Therapeutics, Bayer, and UpToDate, outside of the submitted work. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Department of Veteran Affairs. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.