Economic burden of long-term care of rheumatoid arthritis patients in Hungary

Cs Zoltán Horváth, Andor Sebestyén, August Österle, Dóra Endrei, József Betlehem, András Oláh, László Imre, Gabriella Bagosi, Imre Boncz

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim: Long-term care (LTC) in Hungary is provided in four major ways: day care, nursing, chronic care, and rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to explore the financing of LTC in Hungary, with a disease-specific focus on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Data and methods: Data were derived from the National Health Insurance Fund Administration (NHIFA). For 2012, we analyzed the following indicators: number of patients and cases, crude and weighted hospital days, and health insurance expenditure. Results: The annual health insurance expenditure of LTC was 112.6 million EUR in Hungary in 2012 and covered 209,000 patients (225,000 cases). The NHIFA spent 0.69 million EUR for the LTC of 976 patients with RA. The annual health insurance cost per patient was significantly (by 32%) higher for patients with RA (710 EUR) than the average cost of all patients (538 EUR). The average length of stay was also higher for patients with RA (19.7 days) than for the general LTC population (17.4 days). Conclusions: The cost of LTC of patients with RA is higher than the average cost of the general LTC patient population. Early treatment of RA patients could contribute to decreasing LTC expenditure. More generally, health technology assessment can inform future LTC funding debates in Central and Eastern European countries by putting more emphasis on LTC utilization and costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S131-S135
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Health care financing
  • Health insurance
  • Long-term care
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy

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  • Cite this

    Horváth, C. Z., Sebestyén, A., Österle, A., Endrei, D., Betlehem, J., Oláh, A., Imre, L., Bagosi, G., & Boncz, I. (2014). Economic burden of long-term care of rheumatoid arthritis patients in Hungary. European Journal of Health Economics, 15(SUPPL. 1), S131-S135.