Burden of Neuromuscular Conditions

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Lead Author(s): 

Jonathan S. Kirschner, MD, RMSK
Se Won Lee, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

The overall burden of all neuromuscular conditions is difficult to assess due to the life-long care usually required following onset of the disease. However, comparison of the 1.9 million hospitalization discharges and 2.4 million emergency department health care visits to hospitalizations and ED visits for all health conditions provides some sense of the magnitude of burden.

Neuromuscular conditions accounted for 5% of all hospital discharges and 2% of all emergency department visits in 2013. Discharge from the hospital to another form of care (short/intermediate/nursing home facility or home health care) occurred in 47% of discharges with a neuromuscular diagnosis, compared to 27% of discharges for all healthcare reasons. Among emergency department visits, 46% of patients were admitted to the hospital when there was a neuromuscular diagnosis, compared to 14% for all healthcare reasons. Thus, it can be seen that neuromuscular conditions have a much higher level of long-term care than health concerns overall. (Reference Table 6B.2.1 PDF CSV)

Mean hospital charges in 2013 for all discharges with a neuromuscular disease diagnosis were $59,100, 38% greater than the mean charge for discharges with any health condition. Mean length of stay for neuromuscular disease was 26% longer than the mean stay for all hospitalizations (5.9 days versus 4.7 days). Total hospital charges for neuromuscular diseases in 2013 were $109.8 million, 7.2% of total hospital charges for all health conditions, even though discharges for a neuromuscular disease comprised only 5% of all hospitalizations. (Reference Table 6B.2.2 PDF CSV)


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