Healthcare Utilization


Lead Author(s): 

Jonathan S. Kirschner, MD, RMSK
Se Won Lee, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Patients with myopathy are likely to utilize ambulatory visits, specialist visits, and hospitalization more often than those without myopathy, according to a study of the patients with inflammatory myopathy in a large managed care system.1 Diagnostic tests, including EDx, blood  and genetic testing and muscle biopsy, are often utilized to confirm clinical suspicions from history and physical examination, and to delineate the exact type and underlying etiology of myopathy. As cure is limited in most myopathies, treatment focuses on the supportive and symptomatic treatment. In the initial stages and/or milder forms of myopathy, treatment is usually at an outpatient clinic for physical, occupational, and speech therapy, and bracing if needed. In progressive and disabling myopathies, hospitalization is required to manage the secondary problems related to the myopathies such as respiratory failure.  


There were 792,700 health care visits made in 2013 with a diagnosis of myopathy or neuromuscular junction disorder. As with some other neuromuscular conditions, the overall number of visits to outpatient clinics and physician’s offices were too small to include in demographic analysis, and affect rates of incidence by demographic characteristics except for males and persons age 44-65 visits to outpatient clinics. Gender and geographic region are not factors, but as with other neuromuscular conditions, the condition increases with age. Racial differences are difficult to determine due to small sample sizes and unreliable data. (Reference Table T6B.1.1 PDF CSV; Table 6B.1.2 PDF CSV; Table 6B.1.3 PDF CSV; and Table 6B.1.4 PDF CSV)

Healthcare Resources

More than half (56%) of 792,700 2013 health care visits with a diagnosis of myopathy or neuromuscular junction disorder were to a physician’s office; however, data was not reliable at the level of sub-category conditions. The remainder of visits were spread between hospital discharges (13%), ED visits (13%), and outpatient clinics (18%). Acquired myopathy was the most common diagnosis with a hospital discharge, while neuromuscular junction disorder was most common in the ED.most common in the ED. (Reference Table 6B.1.5 PDF CSV)

  • 1. Furst DE, Amato AA, Iorga SR, et al. Medical costs and healthcare resource use in patients with inflammatory myopathies in an insured population. Muscle Nerve 2012;46(4):496-50. doi: 10.1002/mus.23384.


  • Fourth Edition

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