The objective of this study was to determine in venous leg ulcer (VLU) patients the impact of infection (INF) on medical resource utilization (MRU) and cost of care.We performed a retrospective case-controlled study of 78 patients observed a minimum of 12 months with VLUs treated by vascular surgeons at our wound center. To eliminate minor episodes of INF or incorrectly diagnosed episodes, only patients who had an inpatient admission specifically for INF composed the INF group; other admissions were excluded for this group. MRU was defined as the number of clinic visits, visiting nurse visits, and inpatient admissions. The cost for treatment was determined using financial data provided by the hospital and physician organization billing units. The cost during the 1-year follow-up was composed of individual cost centers: inpatient and outpatient facility fees, physician fees, and visiting nurse services. Mean MRU and cost data were compared using the two-sample t-test between INF and no INF. INF in VLU patients led to an increase in MRU and cost of care, with the INF cohort requiring more inpatient admissions, outpatient visits, and visiting nurse services. Given the major impact that INF has on cost and MRU, better treatment modalities that prevent INF as well as identification of risk factors for INF in VLU patients are needed.

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