Assessing the risk and costs of COVID-19 in immunocompromised populations in a large United States commercial insurance health plan: the EPOCH-US Study

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Current medical research and opinion


OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of patients with an immunocompromising condition at risk for COVID-19, estimate COVID-19 prevalence rate (PR) and incidence rate (IR) by immunocompromising condition, and describe COVID-19-related healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) and costs.

METHODS: Using the Healthcare Integrated Research Database (HIRD), patients with ≥1 claim for an immunocompromising condition of interest or ≥2 claims for an immunosuppressive (IS) treatment and COVID-19 diagnosis during the infection period (1 April 2020-31 March 2022) and had ≥12 months baseline data were included. Cohorts (other than the composite cohort) were not mutually exclusive and were defined by each immunocompromising condition. Analyses were descriptive in nature.

RESULTS: Of the 16,873,161 patients in the source population, 2.7% (n = 458,049) were immunocompromised (IC). The COVID-19 IR for the composite IC cohort during the study period was 101.3 per 1000 person-years and the PR was 13.5%. The highest IR (195.0 per 1000 person-years) and PR (20.1%) were seen in the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) cohort; the lowest IR (68.3 per 1000 person-years) and PR (9.4%) were seen in the hematologic or solid tumor malignancy cohort. Mean costs for hospitalizations associated with the first COVID-19 diagnosis were estimated at nearly $1 billion (2021 United States dollars [USD]) for 14,516 IC patients, with a mean cost of $64,029 per patient.

CONCLUSIONS: Immunocompromised populations appear to be at substantial risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes, leading to increased costs and HCRU. Effective prophylactic options are still needed for these high-risk populations as the COVID-19 landscape evolves.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; United States; COVID-19 Testing; COVID-19; Delivery of Health Care; Insurance; Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Health Care Costs; Retrospective Studies

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ePub ahead of print





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