The study aimed to evaluate health care resource utilization (HRU) and costs for neuropathic pain (NeP) secondary to spinal cord injury (SCI) among Medicaid beneficiaries.
The retrospective longitudinal cohort study used Medicaid beneficiary claims with SCI and evidence of NeP (SCI-NeP cohort) matched with a cohort without NeP (SCI-only cohort). Patients had continuous Medicaid eligibility 6 months pre- and 12 months postindex, defined by either a diagnosis of central NeP (ICD-9-CM code 338.0x) or a pharmacy claim for an NeP-related antiepileptic or antidepressant drug within 12 months following first SCI diagnosis. Demographics, clinical characteristics, HRU, and expenditures were compared between cohorts.
Propensity score-matched cohorts each consisted of 546 patients. Postindex percentages of patients with physician office visits, emergency department visits, SCI- and pain-related procedures, and outpatient prescription utilization were all significantly higher for SCI-NeP ( P<0.001). Using regression models to account for covariates, adjusted mean expenditures were US$47,518 for SCI-NeP and US$30,150 for SCI only, yielding incremental costs of US$17,369 (95% confidence interval US$9,753 to US$26,555) for SCI-NeP. Factors significantly associated with increased cost included SCI type, trauma-related SCI, and comorbidity burden.