May 26, 2018
1 min read

MSSA hospital costs may soon exceed those of MRSA

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Photo of Eili Klein
Eili Y. Klein

Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus has begun to incur similar hospitalization costs and may ultimately exceed those of MRSA, researchers reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“Contrary to historical studies at the hospital level, which suggested that MRSA infections were significantly more expensive than [methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA)] infections, nationally we found that MRSA-related hospitalization costs were approximately the same as or less expensive than hospitalizations with MSSA,” Eili Y. Klein, PhD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a research fellow at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, said in a press release.

In a retrospective analysis, Klein and colleagues evaluated data from the National Inpatient Sample from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for the years 2010 to 2014. They determined the hospitalization costs of various conditions, including MRSA- and MSSA-related septicemia and pneumonia infections, along with MRSA- and MSSA-associated infections “from conditions classified elsewhere and of an unspecified site (‘other infections’),” the researchers wrote.

In 2014, the estimated costs were highest for pneumonia-related hospitalizations, followed by sepsis-related hospitalizations. The propensity score-adjusted costs were significantly higher for MSSA-related pneumonia ($40,725 vs. $38,561; P = .045) and other hospitalizations ($15,578 vs. $14,792; P < .001) compared with MRSA-related hospitalizations. The researchers said they observed similar patterns from 2010 to 2013, although crude cost differences between MSSA- and MRSA-related pneumonia hospitalizations rose from 25.8% to 31% in that time period.

The researchers noted that the adjusted mortality rate was higher for MRSA than it was for MSSA, which is in line with previous research.

Several factors may explain the findings, the researchers wrote, including improved diagnostic testing and infection control practices, and an increased incidence of community-acquired MRSA, which typically cause noninvasive skin and soft tissue infections that are less costly to treat.

“Changes in the health insurance system may have also affected hospital care and treatment costs,” Klein said in the release. “Further research is needed to better understand the underlying reasons for the change and the implications of this research for the broader crisis of antibiotic resistance.” – by Jennifer Byrne

Disclosures: Klein reports no relevant financial disclosures. One author reports receiving personal fees from Theravance and Novartis outside the submitted work.