Use and Costs of Medical Care for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

JAMA. 2001;285:60-66. – Read the Full Article by downloading the PDF here

Context A shortage of data exists on medical care use by persons with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Objective To compare medical care use and costs among persons with and without ADHD.

Design and Setting Population-based cohort study conducted in Rochester, Minn.

Subjects All children born in 1976-1982 were followed up through 1995, using school and medical records to identify those with ADHD. The 4880 birth cohort members (mean age, 7.3 years) still residing in Rochester in 1987 were followed up in medical facility–linked billing databases until death, emigration, or December 31, 1995.

Main Outcome Measures Clinical diagnoses, likelihood and frequency of inpatient and outpatient hospitalizations, emergency department (ED) visits, and total medical costs (including ambulatory care), compared among individuals with and without ADHD.

Results Among the 4119 birth cohort members who remained in the area through 1995 (mean age, 15.3 years), 7.5% (n = 309) had met criteria for ADHD. Compared with persons without ADHD, those with ADHD were more likely to have diagnoses in multiple categories, including major injuries (59% vs 49%; P<.001) and asthma (22% vs 13%; P<.001). The proportion with any hospital inpatient, hospital outpatient, or ED admission was higher for persons with ADHD vs those without ADHD (26% vs 18% [P<.001], 41% vs 33% [P = .006], and 81% vs 74% [P = .005], respectively). The 9-year median costs for persons with ADHD compared with those without ADHD were more than double ($4306 vs $1944; P<.001), even for the subset with no hospital or ED admissions (eg, median 1987 costs, $128 vs $65; P<.001). The differences between individuals with and without ADHD were similar for males and females and across all age groups.

Conclusion In our cohort, compared with persons without ADHD, those with ADHD exhibited substantially greater use of medical care in multiple care delivery settings.

Author Affiliations: Departments of Health Sciences Research (Drs Leibson, Katusic, and O’Brien, and Ms Ransom) and Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (Dr Barbaresi), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Behavioral Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Behavioral Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Behavioral Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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