Expenditures in the elderly with peripheral neuropathy Where should we focus cost-control efforts?

To optimize care in the evaluation of peripheral neuropathy, we sought to define which tests drive expenditures and the role of the provider type. We investigated test utilization and expenditures by provider type in those with incident neuropathy in a nationally representative elderly, Medicare population. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine predictors of MRI and electrodiagnostic utilization. MRIs of the neuroaxis and electrodiagnostic tests accounted for 88% of total expenditures. Mean and aggregate diagnostic expenditures were higher in those who saw a neurologist. Patients who saw a neurologist were more likely to receive an MRI and an electrodiagnostic test. MRIs and electrodiagnostic tests are the main contributors to expenditures in the evaluation of peripheral neuropathy, and should be the focus of future efficiency efforts. © 2013 American Academy of Neurology.