Pediatric patients, DRG hospital payment, and comorbidities
Miller Fisher Syndrome
To determine whether the diagnosis related group (DRG) hospital payment system is causing financial pressure on pediatric hospitals similar to that shown in our previous work in other settings, we analyzed resource consumption for pediatric patients in any of the 251 DRGs not stratified by comorbidities. The new DRG prospective "all payor system" is in effect at our hospital. Analysis of 12,771 pediatric patients by payer (Medicaid and commercial insurance such as Blue Cross) in these DRGs for a 3-year period demonstrated that, as a group, pediatric patients with more comorbidities generated higher total hospital costs, a longer hospital length of stay, a greater percentage of procedures per patient, financial risk under DRG payment, more outliers (expensive patients), and a higher mortality rate than pediatric patients in the same DRGs with fewer comorbidities. This study confirms major inequities in DRG prospective hospital payment for many pediatric patients.