Survey of financial burden of families in the U.S. with children using home mechanical ventilation.
Aim: To describe and quantify the out-of-pocket expenses, employment loss, and other financial impact related to caring for a child using home mechanical ventilation (HMV).
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of U.S. families with children who used HMV. Eligible participants were invited to complete a questionnaire addressing household and child characteristics, out-of-pocket expenses, employment loss/reduction, and financial stress. Participants were recruited with the help of three national patient registries.
Two hundred twenty-six participants from 32 states (152 with children who used invasive ventilation and 74 with children who used noninvasive ventilation) completed the questionnaire. Participants' median reported yearly household income was $90 000 (IQR 70 000-150 000). The median amount paid in out-of-pocket expenses in the previous 3 months to care for their child using HMV totaled $3899 (IQR $2900-4550). Reported levels of financial stress decreased as income increased; 37-60% of participants, depending on income quintile, reported moderate financial stress with "some" of that stress due to their out-of-pocket expenses. A substantial majority reported one or more household members stopped or reduced work and took unpaid weeks off of work to care for their child.
The financial impact of caring for a child using HMV is considerable for some families. Providers need to understand these financial burdens and should inform families of them to help families anticipate and plan for them.
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- Pediatric Pulmonology