Primary payer status in patients with seizures: A nationwide study during 1997-2014 in the United States

Vahid Eslami, Jared Alexander Stowers, Pegah Afra, Ali Seifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: In countries where health coverage is not universal, there is ample evidence of disparities in healthcare, often associated with insurance. People with seizures, similar to those living with any complicated chronic medical comorbidity, need further health-related attention to improve their quality-of-life outcomes. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) component of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) national database between 1997–2014. The analysis focused on the mortality rate, and patients with a principal admission diagnosis of seizure at the time of discharge were identified. Primary Payer Status (PPS) included Medicare, Medicaid, private, and uninsured. Multivariate linear regression modeling was conducted to examine the contribution of the predictive variables to in-hospital mortality. Results: Between 1997–2014, 4,594,213 seizure-related discharges was recorded. The overall mean patient age was 41.69 ± 0.98 years, and 58.1 % were female. The average age during this period decreased significantly in Medicare, increased substantially in uninsured, without significant change in Medicaid and private. Patients in Medicare had the highest length of stay (LOS) (4.49 ± 0.29 days), and uninsured (2.79 ± 0.15) had the least. Over time, there was a significant increase in the number of seizure discharges in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. However, there was a significant decrease in in-hospital mortality in Medicare, Medicaid, and private, with the most prominent decline in Medicare. Risk-adjusted for age, gender, LOS, illness severity, and time, regression results showed Medicare has a significantly higher association with less in-hospital mortality compared with other insurances. Conclusions: Our study showed a significant increase in the number of seizure diagnoses at discharge in Medicare, Medicaid, and private in the United States between 1997–2014; however, there was a decrease in the in-hospital mortality rate across all insurance payers. Uninsured patients had the highest mortality rate after Medicare without risk justification. Risk-stratified models confirmed Medicare was significantly associated with a less in-hospital mortality rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106501
JournalEpilepsy Research
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Epilepsy
  • HCUP
  • Mortality
  • Primary payer Status
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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