June 2023
Volume 64, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2023
The Epidemiology and Costs of Hospitalized Optic Neuritis in Texas
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julia Guido
    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, El Paso, Texas, United States
  • Fatma Dihowm
    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, El Paso, Texas, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Julia Guido None; Fatma Dihowm None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2023, Vol.64, 3049. doi:
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      Julia Guido, Fatma Dihowm; The Epidemiology and Costs of Hospitalized Optic Neuritis in Texas. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2023;64(8):3049.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Optic neuritis is an inflammatory demyelinating condition that causes eye pain and monocular vision loss. Due to complications and comorbidities, this disease can more heavily burden patients with barriers to healthcare. We analyzed the Texas Hospital Inpatient Discharge Public Use Data File (PUDF) to determine how the cost of optic neuritis-related care varies for Hispanic patients and patients in border cities.

Methods : Data from the PUDF from January 2020 to December 2021 was analyzed for patients diagnosed with optic neuritis via the Stata 17 software. Demographic trends regarding age, ethnicity, location, and insurance type were analyzed to determine patterns in the cost of hospitalization for patients with optic neuritis (n=1,196) with statistical significance achieved at p<0.05.

Results : A greater number (39.93%) of Hispanic patients are treated in border cities as opposed to 13.24% of non-Hispanic patients. Almost half of patients in border cities identify as Hispanic (49.79%). Only 18.55% of patients in non-border cities are Hispanic. While private rooms are more expensive in non-border cities, total charges are higher for border cities.

Hispanic patients are diagnosed with optic neuritis at a younger age, with 40% falling in the 18-34 years of age category as opposed to 26% of non-Hispanic patients. The semi-private room, ward, MRI, and ER charges are higher for Hispanic patients. Both Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients were more likely to be admitted as emergency admissions (76.53%), however Hispanic patients were less likely to be admitted as urgent patients or elective patients.

The most common diagnosis associated with optic neuritis is multiple sclerosis, which affects 28.51% of all patients. Patients are more likely to have multiple sclerosis diagnoses in border cities, with 33.47% of patients presenting with multiple sclerosis along with optic neuritis in these areas as opposed to 27.08% in non-border cities.

Other common associated diagnoses include COVID exposure (23.16% of all patients) and primary hypertension (28.26% of all patients).

Conclusions : Hispanic patients and patients who receive care in border cities pay higher costs for many charges, potentially highlighting the disparities in healthcare for these populations. Future studies could determine the reasons for these costs to help patients receive more affordable care.

This abstract was presented at the 2023 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 2023.

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