Urologic Diseases in America Project

Analytical Methods and Principal Findings

Published in: The Journal of Urology, v. 173, no. 3, Mar. 2005, p. 933-937

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Mark Litwin, Christopher S. Saigal, Elizabeth Yano, Chantal Avila, Sandy A. Geschwind, Janet M. Hanley, Geoffrey F. Joyce, Rodger Madison, Jennifer E. Pace, Suzanne Polich, Mingming Wang

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PURPOSE: The burden of urological diseases on the American public is immense in human and financial terms but it has been under studied. The authors undertook a project, Urologic Diseases in America, to quantify the burden of urological diseases on the American public. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors identified public and private data sources that contain population based data on resource utilization by patients with benign and malignant urological conditions. Sources included the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions, and private data sets maintained by MarketScan Health and Productivity Management (MarketScan, Chichester, United Kingdom), Ingenix (Ingenix, Salt Lake City, Utah) and Center for Health Care Policy and Evaluation. Using diagnosis and procedure codes the authors described trends in the utilization of urological services. RESULTS: In 2000 urinary tract infections accounted for more than 6.8 million office visits and 1.3 million emergency room visits, and 245,000 hospitalizations in women with an annual cost of more than $2.4 billion. Urinary tract infections accounted for more than 1.4 million office visits, 424,000 emergency room visits and 121,000 hospitalizations in men with an annual cost of more than $1 billion. Benign prostatic hyperplasia was the primary diagnosis in more than 4.4 million office visits, 117,000 emergency room visits and 105,000 hospitalizations, accounting for $1.1 billion in expenditures that year. Urolithiasis was the primary diagnosis for almost 2 million office visits, more than 600,000 emergency room visits, and more than 177,000 hospitalizations, totaling more than $2 billion in annual expenditures. Urinary incontinence in women was the primary cause for more than 1.1 million office visits in 2000 and $452 million in aggregate primary cause for more than 1.1 million office visits in 2000 and $452 million in aggregate annual expenditures. Other manuscripts in this series present further detail for specific urologic conditions. Conclusions: Recent trends in epidemiology, practice patterns, resource utilization and costs for urological diseases have broad implications for quality of health care, access to care and the equitable allocation of scarce resources for clinical care and research.

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