Expulsive therapy versus early endoscopic stone removal in patients with acute renal colic: a comparison of indirect costs.
PURPOSE: While medical expulsive therapy is associated with lower health care expenditures compared to early endoscopic stone removal in patients with renal colic, little is known about the effect of medical expulsive therapy on indirect costs. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a previously validated claims based algorithm we identified a cohort of patients with acute renal colic. After determining the up-front treatment type (ie an initial course of medical expulsive therapy vs early endoscopic stone removal) we compared differences in rates of short-term disability filing. We used propensity score matching to account for differences between treatment groups such that patients treated with medical expulsive therapy vs early endoscopic stone removal were similar with regard to measured characteristics. RESULTS: In total, 257 (35.8%) and 461 (64.2%) patients were treated with medical expulsive therapy or early endoscopic stone removal, respectively. There were no differences between treatment groups after propensity score matching. In the matched cohort the patients treated with medical expulsive therapy had a 6% predicted probability of filing a claim for short-term disability compared to 16.5% in the early endoscopic stone removal cohort (p <0.0001). Among the patients who filed for short-term disability those prescribed medical expulsive therapy had on average 1 fewer day of disability than those treated surgically (0.9 vs 1.8 days, p <0.001). CONCLUSIONS: An initial trial of medical expulsive therapy is associated with significantly lower indirect costs to the patient compared to early endoscopic stone removal. These findings have implications for providers when counseling patients with acute renal colic.
Dauw, CA; Kaufman, SR; Hollenbeck, BK; Roberts, WW; Faerber, GJ; Wolf, JS; Hollingsworth, JM
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