Patterns of Health Care Utilization and Medication Adherence Among Youth with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus During Transfer from Pediatric to Adult Care.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2020 Feb 01

ISSN Number



<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>Youth with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) transferring from pediatric to adult care are at risk for poor outcomes. We describe patterns of rheumatology/nephrology care and changes in health care utilization and medication adherence during transfer.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We identified youth ages 15-25 with SLE using US private insurance claims from Optum's de-identified Clinformatics® Data Mart. Rheumatology/nephrology visit patterns were categorized as 1) unilateral transfers to adult care within 12 months, 2) overlapping pediatric and adult visits, 3) lost to follow-up, or 4) continuing pediatric care. We used negative binomial regression and paired t-tests to estimate changes in health care utilization and medication possession ratios (MPR) after the last pediatric (index) visit. We compared MPRs between youth who transferred and age-matched peers continuing pediatric care.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>184 youth transferred out of pediatric care, of which 41.8% transferred unilaterally, 31.5% had overlapping visits over a median of 12 months before final transfer, and 26.6% were lost to follow-up. We matched 107 youth continuing pediatric care. Overall ambulatory utilization decreased among those lost to follow-up. Acute care utilization decreased across all groups. MPRs after the index date were lower in youth lost to follow-up (mean 0.24) compared to peers in pediatric care (0.57, p&lt;0.001).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Youth with SLE with continuous private insurance coverage do not use more acute care after transfer to adult care. However, a substantial proportion fail to see adult subspecialists within 12 months and have worse medication adherence, placing them at higher risk for adverse outcomes.</p>



Alternate Title

J. Rheumatol.




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