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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013, Article ID 713627, 7 pages
Research Article

Is There Extra Cost of Institutional Care for MS Patients?

1University of Rochester, USA
2State University of New York at Buffalo, USA
3University of California, Irvine, USA

Received 19 April 2013; Revised 6 August 2013; Accepted 12 August 2013

Academic Editor: Francesco Patti

Copyright © 2013 Katia Noyes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Throughout life, patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) require increasing levels of support, rehabilitative services, and eventual skilled nursing facility (SNF) care. There are concerns that access to SNF care for MS patients is limited because of perceived higher costs of their care. This study compares costs of caring for an MS patient versus those of a typical SNF patient. We merged SNF cost report data with the 2001–2006 Nursing Home Minimum Data Set (MDS) to calculate percentage of MS residents-days and facility case-mix indices (CMIs). We estimated the average facility daily cost using hybrid cost functions, adjusted for facility ownership, average facility wages, CMI-adjusted number of SNF days, and percentage of MS residents-days. We describe specific characteristics of SNF with high and low MS volumes and examine any sources of variation in cost. MS patients were no longer more costly than typical SNF patients. A greater proportion of MS patients had no significant effect on facility daily costs ( ). MS patients were more likely to receive care in government-owned facilities (OR = 1.904) located in the Western (OR = 2.133) and Midwestern (OR = 1.3) parts of the USA ( ). Cost of SNF care is not a likely explanation for the perceived access barriers that MS patients face.