Chronic illicit drug use, health services utilization and the cost of medical care
Few studies have examined the relationships between drug use, health services utilization and the cost of medical care for a community-based sample of drug users. The purpose of this study was to analyze recently collected data on chronic drug users (CDUs), CDUs who were also injecting drug users (IDUs) and non-drug users (NDUs) to determine whether these groups exhibited differences in health services utilization and cost. In addition to descriptive analyses, these relationships were estimated with multivariate regression models. Data were collected in 1996 and 1997 through a standardized self-reported questionnaire administered to individuals who were recruited through community outreach activities in the USA. Annual differences in health services utilization between CDUs, IDUs and NDUs were estimated for three measures: number of times admitted to a hospital, number of outpatient visits and number of emergency room episodes. Results of this study indicate that CDUs and IDUs consumed significantly more inpatient and emergency care, but less outpatient services relative to NDUs. Analyses of total health care costs showed that CDUs and IDUs each generated about $1000 in excess services utilization per individual relative to NDUs. This research is the first study to compare differences in health services utilization and cost among out-of-treatment drug users relative to a matched group of non-users in a community-based setting. The findings suggest that health care providers and managed care organizations should consider policies that promote more ambulatory care and discourage emergency room and inpatient care among drug users. Innovative and culturally acceptable approaches may be necessary to provide incentives without posing unusual financial hardship.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 50 (2000)
Issue (Month): 12 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:50:y:2000:i:12:p:1703-1713. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.