Objectives: In 2014, South Korea expanded its national health insurance coverage to include newer antifungal agents, such as echinocandins. This study aimed to investigate the effects of policy change on the prescription patterns of antifungals, medical costs and clinical outcomes of candidemia. Methods: This retrospective cohort enrolled hospitalized patients with candidemia at three tertiary care hospitals in South Korea from January 2012 to December 2015. The utilization of antifungal agents, medical costs, length of hospital stay (LOS), and mortality before and after the health-care benefit expansion were compared, and the factors associated with all-cause 28-day mortality during the study period were analyzed. Results: A total of 769 candidemia cases were identified. The incidence of candidemia did not significantly vary during the study period (P = 0.253). The proportion of echinocandins, as the initial antifungal agent, and medical costs associated with candidemia significantly increased since the change in insurance coverage (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in LOS and mortality associated with candidemia before and after the health-care benefit expansion (P = 0.696 and 0.931, respectively). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that initial treatment with caspofungin was associated with decreased mortality (adjusted odds ratio: 0.784; 95% confidence interval: 0.681–0.902; reference: fluconazole). Conclusions: Although the utilization of newer antifungal agents and medical cost for candidemia has significantly increased since the health-care benefit expansion, there has been no change in the outcome of candidemia. However, the further increased use of newer antifungals may improve the outcome of candidemia in this country.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases