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Cephalalgia. 2011 Nov;31(15):1570-5. doi: 10.1177/0333102411425960. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Costs associated with outpatient, emergency room and inpatient care for migraine in the USA.

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  • 1Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., West Point, PA 19486, USA.



Data on the average US costs of an outpatient visit, emergency room (ER) visit or hospitalization for migraine are scant, with the most recent available values based on healthcare charges reported from 1994 data.


We estimated healthcare costs associated with outpatient and ER visits and inpatient hospitalizations related to migraine retrospectively obtained from the 2007 Medstat MarketScan Commercial Claims & Encounters database. Tabulated costs reflected payments from insurers, patients and other sources. All costs were adjusted to 2010 US dollars.


The estimated mean cost (95% CI) for migraine-related care per outpatient visit (N = 680,946) was $139.88 ($139.35-140.41); per ER visit (N = 88,128) was $775.09 ($768.10-782.09); and per inpatient hospitalization (N = 5516) was $7317.07 ($7134.96-7499.17). The most frequently coded procedures at outpatient and ER visits were subcutaneous or intra-muscular injection, and for hospitalizations was computed tomography. Estimated annual US healthcare costs in 2010 for migraine associated with: outpatient visits were $3.2 billion, ER visits were $700 million, and inpatient hospitalizations were $375 million.


Direct healthcare costs associated with patient visits and hospitalizations for migraine headaches have increased since previously published estimates. Further research is needed to understand the current overall healthcare cost burden per patient and within the US population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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