May 18, 2022

Drivers of US Healthcare Spending for Persons with Seizures and/or Epilepsies, 2010-2018

Abstract found on Wiley Online Library


Objective: To characterize spending for persons classified with seizure or epilepsy and determine if spending has increased over time.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study we pooled data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) household component files for 2010 to 2018. We matched cases to controls on age and sex of a population-based sample of MEPS respondents (community-dwelling persons of all ages) with records associated with a medical event (e.g., outpatient visit; hospital inpatient) for seizure, epilepsy, or both. Outcomes were weighted to be representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized population. We estimated the treated prevalence of epilepsy and seizure, healthcare spending overall and by site of care, and trends in spending growth.

Results: We identified 1,078 epilepsy cases, and 2,344 seizure cases. Treated prevalence was 0.38% (95% CI =0.34-0.41) for epilepsy, 0.76% (95% CI=0.71-0.81) for seizure, and 1.14% (95% CI: 1.08-1.20) for epilepsy or seizure. The difference in annual spending for cases compared to controls was $4,580 (95% CI: $3,362-$5,798) for epilepsy, $7,935 (95% CI: $6,237-$9,634) for seizure, and $6,853 (95% CI: $5,623-$8,084) for epilepsy or seizure, translating into aggregate costs of $5.4 billion, $19.0 billion, and $24.5 billion. From 2010 to 2018, the annual growth rate in total spending incurred for seizures and/or epilepsies was 7.6% compared to 3.6% among controls.

Significance: U.S. economic burden of seizures and/or epilepsies is substantial and warrants interventions focused on their unique and overlapping causes.