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Effects of Chronic Disease Costs on the Health Economy

Posted by The CareSync Team

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Dec 12, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Chronic disease costs the health economy trillions of dollars each year in healthcare expenditures.In the United States, chronic disease, conditions, and the health risk behaviors that cause them account for most health care costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are some of the latest stats that reflect how specific chronic disease costs the health economy.

The Cost of Chronic Diseases and Health Risk Behaviors

  • Eighty-six percent of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual healthcare expenditures are related to effects of chronic disease costs and mental health conditions.
  • Total annual cardiovascular chronic disease costs to the nation averaged $316.1 billion in 2012–2013. Of this amount, $189.7 billion was for direct medical expenses and $126.4 billion was for lost productivity costs (from premature death).

Chronic disease costs account for nearly 90% of total healthcare spending each year.

  • Cancer chronic care cost $157 billion in 2010 dollars.
  • The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in decreased productivity. Decreased productivity includes costs associated with people being absent from work, being less productive while at work, or not being able to work at all because of diabetes.
  • The total cost of arthritis and related conditions was about $128 billion in 2003. Of this amount, nearly $81 billion was for direct medical costs and $47 billion was for indirect costs associated with lost earnings.
  • Economic cost due to smoking was estimated to be at least $300 billion a year from 2009-2012. This includes chronic disease costs related to smoking.Medical costs linked to obesity were estimated to be $147 billion in 2008. Annual medical costs for people who were obese were $1,429 higher than those for people of normal weight in 2006.
  • For the years 2009–2012, economic cost due to effects of chronic disease and other items related to smoking was estimated to be at least $300 billion a year. This cost includes nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion for lost productivity from premature death estimated from 2005 through 2009.
  • The economic costs of drinking too much alcohol were estimated to be $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink, in 2010. Most of these costs were due to binge drinking and resulted from losses in workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crimes related to excessive drinking.

The Role Between-Visit Care Coordination Plays in Reducing Healthcare and Chronic Disease Costs

Care coordination and associated initiatives like Medicare’s Chronic Care Management (CCM) program are working to reduce healthcare costs. CCM proactively reduces hospital admissions and readmissions. It engages patients to be more active in their self-management of chronic disease and conditions and encourages follow through on doctor’s instructions and treatment plans.

To learn more about reducing healthcare costs while improving patient health outcomes through care coordination and CCM, contact CareSync today at 800-501-2984.

Download a free healthcare white paper about Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+). Click here. Want answers to frequently asked questions about Medicare's Chronic Care Management (CCM)? Click here for a complete resource for Chronic Care Management answers.  Want information and news about Medicare in 2018? Click here.

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