Children with chronic conditions increasingly used more resources in a group of children's hospitals compared with patients without a chronic condition, according to a report that analyzed data from 28 U.S. children's hospitals between 2004 and 2009, and is being published Online First by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.
To compare inpatient resource use trends for healthy children and children with chronic health conditions of varying degrees of medical complexity, Jay G. Berry, M.D., M.P.H., with Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, analyzed data from 1,526,051 unique patients hospitalized from January 2004 through December 2009, who were assigned to one of five chronic condition groups.
The authors found that between 2004 and 2009, hospitals experienced a greater increase in the number of children hospitalized with vs. without a chronic condition (19.2 percent vs. 13.7 percent) and the greatest cumulative increase (32.5 percent) was attributable to children with a significant chronic condition affecting two or more body systems. These children accounted for 19.2 percent>
"Children's hospitals must ensure that their inpatient care systems and payment structures are equipped to meet the protean needs of this important population of children," the authors conclude. (Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Published online December 24, 2012. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.432. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)