Table 7.

Health Care Costs for Children With ADHD by Validity of ADHD Diagnosis*,

Category of ServiceProbable ADHD ($)
(n = 50, 71.4%)
Possible or Doubtful ADHD ($)
(n = 20, 28.6%)
MeanMedianStandard DeviationMeanMedianStandard Deviation
Primary care405302371487393412
ED care700313000
Hospitalizations40149027
Mental health14302933420707
Pharmacy325251294226157244
Total costs10888308371323935894
  • * Seventy children with ADHD were randomly selected, their charts abstracted, and encounters and ratings scales were compared with DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. Probable ADHD refers to those with a chart diagnosis of ADHD or a treatment plan that includes a stimulant medication and criteria for ADHD were met. Possible ADHD refers to those with a chart diagnosis of ADHD or a treatment plan that includes a stimulant medication, but criteria for ADHD were not met. Doubtful ADHD refers to those without a chart diagnosis of ADHD or a treatment plan that includes a stimulant medication and criteria for ADHD were not met.

  • All categories of service between children with probable ADHD and children with possible or doubtful ADHD were not statistically significant (P > .05) by Wilcoxon rank sum test.