Identification of Resource Use And Associated Costs for Viral Meningitis

T.V. Parasuraman, Ph.D.
Wyeth-Ayerst; formerly of Hastings Healthcare Group, a division of Healthanswers Inc., Pennington, N.J.
Patricia A. Deverka, M.D., M.S.
Merck-Medco Managed Care, Montvale, N.J.
Michael R. Toscani, Pharm.D.
Hastings Healthcare Group, a division of Healthanswers Inc., Pennington, N.J.

Using database analysis, this study documents various resources consumed as part of routine management of suspected meningitis, culminating with a discharge with a diagnosis of viral meningitis.


Purpose: This study involved identifying resource use and assigning monetary value to the diagnostic work-up and management of viral meningitis.

Methodology: Using a previously established decision analytic framework, various resources were identified as part of routine management of viral meningitis. Secondary database analyses were used to quantify resources and assign a monetary value as a part of routine management of viral meningitis requiring use of the resource units identified in the decision analytic framework. Discharge data sources from the states of California, Florida, and Illinois, and Medicaid data sources from the state of Pennsylvania, were used for the purpose of analysis.

Principal Findings: Physician visits, emergency room visits, hospital admissions, procedures, and medications were identified as the major resources used. Lumbar punctures, CT scans, and antibiotics were identified as the major procedures and medications utilized. No significant difference was found in the major resources used between the states' discharge data and the Medicaid data sources. The mean total charges for patient admissions with CT scans were significantly higher than for patient admissions without CT scans ($11,531.80 vs. $7,841.30, P<0.05). The mean lengths of stay for patients with CT scan were significantly higher than for patient admissions without CT scans (4.71 days vs. 3.88 days, P<0.05). The patient readmission rate was 10.7 percent, while the readmission rate for episodes with more than one hospitalization was 11.1 percent. The mean charge associated with readmission was $12,200.

Key words: Viral meningitis, resource utilization, decision analysis, Medicaid, state discharge data.

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