Davis KL, Misurski D, Miller JM, Bell TJ, Bapat B. Cost of acute hospitalization and post-discharge follow-up care for meningococcal disease in the US. Hum Vacci. 2011 Jan 1;7(1):96-101.

The combined costs of acute hospitalization and post-discharge follow-up care in patients with meningococcal disease have not been widely documented. In this study, data were retrospectively analyzed from three large databases of hospital discharge records and commercial insurance claims in the US. Cases of meningococcal disease were defined as admissions with an ICD-9-CM diagnosis code in the range of 036.x. From the 2005 HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 349 (weighted N=1,710) meningococcal-related hospitalizations were identified with a mean facility cost (in 2009 dollars) of $19,526 per admission. Similar estimates ($18,119 and $20,066, respectively) were obtained from 268 admissions identified in the LifeLink (formerly PharMetrics) database during 1999-2007 and from 1,058 hospitalizations in the Perspective Comparative Database (PCD) during 2000-2007. Using insurance claims from LifeLink, we estimated that payers incur an additional $26,178 in non-facility (professional and other ancillary) costs during the course of a meningococcal admission, as well as $22,230 in additional medical and pharmacy expenses for post-discharge care during the ensuing year. The majority of follow-up costs ($14,637) were attributed to repeat hospitalizations. Mean length of stay for meningococcal disease was consistently estimated across databases at 8 to 9 days. Data from the PCD further suggested that meningococcal disease carries, on average, nearly 2 days of intensive care unit utilization. In conclusion, hospital admissions for meningococcal disease are costly to payers. These costs are heightened when non-facility services and post-discharge care are also considered. Awareness of the full cost burden of meningococcal disease is needed when evaluating vaccination programs targeting the disease.

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