Constipation-Related Health Care Utilization in Children Before and After Hospitalization for Constipation

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We studied constipation-related health care among children before and after constipation admission. Index admissions for constipation in 2010-2011 were identified in the Truven Marketscan Database, which includes children receiving Medicaid in 10 states. We measured number of and spending for outpatient constipation visits 12 months before and after index hospitalizations. We also measured spending for constipation hospitalizations and rehospitalization rate. There were 780 index constipation admissions. The median number of outpatient constipation visits was 1 (interquartile range [IQR] = 0, 3) in the 12 months before and 2 (IQR [0, 4]) after admission (P = .001). Median outpatient spending for constipation was $110 (IQR [0, 429]) before and $132 (IQR [0, 431]) after admission (P = .2). Median spending for index constipation admissions was $5295 (IQR [2756, 8267]); 78 children (10%) were rehospitalized for constipation within 12 months. Constipation-related health care utilization increased after constipation admission. Median spending for one constipation admission was 50 times the median spending for 12 months of outpatient constipation visits.

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