An Assessment of Epidemiologic Burden of Hospitalization for Bronchial Asthma in Acute Exacerbation among Adult Patients Admitted in a Tertiary Hospital in the Philippines: A Pilot Study

  • Mithi Kalayaan S. Zamora
  • Lenora C. Fernandez
Keywords: bronchial asthma, exacerbation, direct costing


Objective. This pilot study aimed to determine the epidemiologic burden of hospitalization for bronchial asthma in acute exacerbation.

Methods. We used a descriptive cross-sectional study to describe the demographic profile, comorbidities and level of control of patients admitted for bronchial asthma in acute exacerbation admitted to the Philippine General Hospital from May 1 to October 31 2019. The study computed for the admission rate and compared the average cost of hospitalization (diagnostics, therapeutics and room) using direct costing to the total reimbursable cost from PhilHealth. Associations between patient characteristics (age, type of admission) and hospitalization cost were also determined.

Results. We enrolled 45 patients in the study. The admission rate was 8/month. The mean cost of admission was significantly higher than the reimbursable amount from PhilHealth (Php 20,074.63 versus Php 9000) (p = 0.004). Cost of hospitalization was significantly higher in pay patients versus charity (p = 0.001 for diagnostics, p = 0.005 for treatment and p = 0.001 for room cost), in patients with poorly controlled asthma (p = 0.020 for diagnostics and p = 0.014 for room cost) and those with frequent short-acting beta-agonist (SABA) use (p = 0.001).

Conclusion. Asthma remains an economic burden for the Filipino patient. Persistent SABA use, perceived asthma control of patients and increased expenses associated with an asthma exacerbation admission lead to significant out-of-pocket expenditure.