Healthcare expenditure and technology use in pediatric diabetes care

Silvia A.G. de Vries*, Jessica C.G. Bak, Carianne L. Verheugt, Vincent A. Stangenberger, Dick Mul, Michel W.J.M. Wouters, Max Nieuwdorp, Theo C.J. Sas

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. With more advanced care options including ever-evolving technology, allocation of resources becomes increasingly important to guarantee equal care for all. Therefore, we investigated healthcare resource utilization, hospital costs, and its determinants in Dutch children with diabetes. Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational analysis with hospital claims data of 5,474 children with diabetes mellitus treated in 64 hospitals across the Netherlands between 2019–2020. Results: Total hospital costs were €33,002,652 per year, and most of these costs were diabetes-associated (€28,151,381; 85.3%). Mean annual diabetes costs were €5,143 per child, and treatment-related costs determined 61.8%. Diabetes technology significantly increased yearly diabetes costs compared to no technology: insulin pumps € 4,759 (28.7% of children), Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring € 7,259 (2.1% of children), and the combination of these treatment modalities € 9,579 (27.3% of children). Technology use increased treatment costs significantly (5.9 – 15.3 times), but lower all-cause hospitalisation rates were observed. In all age groups, diabetes technology use influenced healthcare consumption, yet in adolescence usage decreased and consumption patterns changed. Conclusions: These findings suggest that contemporary hospital costs of children with diabetes of all ages are driven primarily by the treatment of diabetes, with technology use as an important additive factor. The expected rise in technology use in the near future underlines the importance of insight into resource use and cost-effectiveness studies to evaluate if improved outcomes balance out these short-term costs of modern technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
JournalBMC Endocrine Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
MN is supported by a ZONMW VICI grant 2020 [09150182010020]. This had no influence on the study design or manuscript. The other authors did not receive specific funding for this project.

Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s).


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