Patterns of Health Care Utilization and Medication Adherence Among Youth with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus During Transfer from Pediatric to Adult Care.
Year of Publication
2020 Feb 01
<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<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>