Qian 2021


Year: 2021

Title: Use of Diagnostic Testing and Intervention for Sensorineural Hearing Loss in US Children from 2008 to 2018

Country: United States

Age: Pediatric Only

Sex: All Sexes

Population: Multiple Groups

Care Setting: Outpatient Ambulatory and Primary Care

Clinical Setting: Neurologic

Data Level: National

Data Type: Private Insurance Data

Data Source: Optum claims

Conclusion: No Disparities Based on Patient Race/Ethnicity

Health OutComes Reported: No

Mitigation: No

Free Text Conclusion: No difference in head imaging for minorities in controlled model.

Abstract: Importance: Early detection and intervention of pediatric hearing loss is critical for language development and academic achievement. However, variations in the diagnostic workup and management of pediatric sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) exist. Objective: To identify patient and clinician factors that are associated with variation in practice on a national level. Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study used the Optum claims database to identify 53 711 unique children with SNHL between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2018. Main outcomes and measures: National use rates and mean costs for diagnostic modalities (electrocardiogram, cytomegalovirus testing, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and genetic testing) and interventions (speech-language pathology, billed hearing aid services, and cochlear implant surgery) were reported. The associations of age, sex, SNHL laterality, clinician type, race/ethnicity, and household income with diagnostic workup and intervention use were measured in multivariable analyses. Results: Of 53 711 patients, 23 735 (44.2%) were girls, 2934 (5.5%) were Asian, 3797 (7.1%) were Black, 5626 (10.5%) were Hispanic, 33 441 (62.3%) were White, and the mean (SD) age was 7.3 (5.3) years. Of all patients, 32 200 (60.0%) were seen by general otolaryngologists, while 7573 (14.10%) were seen by pediatric otolaryngologists. Diagnostic workup was received by 14 647 patients (27.3%), while 13 482 (25.1%) received intervention. Use of genetic testing increased (odds ratio, 1.22 per year; 95% CI, 1.20-1.24), whereas use of computed tomography decreased (odds ratio, 0.93 per year; 95% CI, 0.92-0.94) during the study period. After adjusting for relevant covariables, children who were seen by pediatric otolaryngologists and geneticists had the highest odds of receiving workup and intervention. Additionally, racial/ethnic and economic disparities were observed in the use of most modalities of diagnostic workup and intervention for pediatric SNHL. Conclusions and relevance: This cross-sectional study identified factors associated with disparities in the diagnostic workup and intervention of pediatric SNHL, thus highlighting the need for increased education and standardization in the management of this common sensory disorder.