The Cost of Inpatient Diabetes Care in a Irish Public Hospital

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Abstract

Aims: To estimate and examine the cost of inpatient diabetes care in an Irish public hospital.

Methods: A retrospective audit of inpatient admissions (2013-2017) at an Irish public hospital was undertaken and data analysed to estimate and examine the burden of diabetes-related admissions. Costs were calculated for each admission by applying the relevant unit price per Diagnosis Related Group based on the Health Service Executive Activity-Based Funding 2019 Admitted Patient Price List. Further analysis was undertaken to explore inpatient admissions and costs related to hypoglycaemia and poor control.

Results: The estimated cost of patients with diabetes admitted to hospital during 2013-2017 was €37.2M with an average length of stay of 8.6 days. Of the full cohort admitted, 635 patients had a principal diagnosis of complications due to diabetes of which 93% (n=589) were emergency admissions. The average length of stay for those admissions was 5.7 days and the related average cost was €2.5M over the five-year period. Further, 20.6% (n=131) of primary admissions were due to hypoglycaemia, for which average length of stay was 4.3 days with resulting costs of €319,986. Poorly controlled diabetes (n=202) was significant with an average length of hospital stay of 5 days and costs exceeding €788K.

Conclusions: Diabetes related complications pose a significant cost burden for public hospitals. This study showcases the valuable role that real world evidence can play in highlighting inpatient costs of diabetes to the Irish health system and the potential scope for cost savings arising from improvements in glycaemic control.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2019

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