Health care utilization in multiple sclerosis: A population-based study in Olmsted County, MN

K. A. Stolp-Smith, E. J. Atkinson, M. E. Campion, P. C. O'Brien, M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors sought to determine acute ambulatory- and hospital-billed charges for the Olmsted County, Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Disability Prevalence Cohort and compare them to those incurred by the general population. Methods: Billed charges for 155 people with clinically definite or laboratory-supported MS were compared with those of age- and gender-matched non-MS controls. Billing data, including all inpatient and outpatient acute and rehabilitative medical care charges over a 5-year period surrounding a December 1, 1991 prevalence date, were analyzed. Data were correlated with level of disability using the Minimal Record of Disability for MS. Results: Median total annual billed charges for most individuals with MS, including those with less severe ($1,277) and relapsing-remitting illness ($1,348), did not differ from those for controls ($1,327, p = 0.075). Only those with severe MS (22.6%) had median annual medical charges higher than controls ($5,440, p < 0.001). Male patients with MS had higher median annual total charges ($2,353) than male controls ($762, p = 0.003). Total charges for female patients with MS ($1,440) were not different from those for female controls ($1469). Median annual outpatient charges were 15% more for the MS group ($1,418) than for controls ($1,231). Patients with MS had a mean of 0.2 hospital admissions annually compared with 0.1 annual admissions per control patient. Among variables collected on persons with MS, the Expanded Disability Status Scale was the strongest predictor of level of charges (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Acute ambulatory- and hospital-billed charges for most patients with MS do not differ from those of the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1594-1600
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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