Diabetes Most Expensive Health Care Condition in US

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joseph Dieleman, PhD Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation | University of Washington Seattle, WA 98121

Dr. Joseph Dieleman

Joseph Dieleman, PhD
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98121

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The objective of this study was to provide a estimate of total health care spending in the United States for an exhaustive list of health conditions, over an extended period of time – from 1996 to 2013. The study primarily focuses on personal health spending, which includes both individual out-of-pocket costs as well as spending by private and government insurance programs on care provided in inpatient and outpatient facilities, emergency departments, nursing care facilities, dentist offices, and also on pharmaceuticals. There were 155 conditions included in the analysis, and spending was also disaggregated by type of care, and age and sex of the patient.

In 2013, we accounted for $2.1 trillion in personal health spending in the U.S. It was discovered that just 20 health conditions made up more than half of all dollars spent on health care in the U.S. in 2013, and spending for each condition varied by age, sex and type of care. Diabetes was the most expensive condition, totaling $101 billion in diagnoses and treatments, growing at an alarmingly rate – a 6.5% increase per year on average.

Ischemic heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S., ranked the second most expensive at $88.1 billion, followed by low back and neck pain at $87.6, treatment of hypertension at $83.9 billion, and injury from falls at $76.3.

Women aged 85 and older spent the most per person in 2013, at more than $31,000 per person. More than half of this spending (58%) occurred in nursing facilities, while 20% was expended on cardiovascular diseases, 10% on Alzheimer’s disease, and 7% on falls. Men ages 85 and older spent $24,000 per person in 2013, with only 37% on nursing facilities, largely because women live longer and men more often have a partner at home to provide care.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Health spending in the U.S. is steadily increasing over time and varies considerably depending on condition, age, sex, and type of care.

To ensure efficient health care in the U.S., it is important that we know how and where this money is being spent. These insights on U.S. health spending may have implications for efforts to control U.S. health care spending through better policy and focused innovation.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Understanding how health care spending varies can help health system researchers and policymakers identify which health conditions, age and sex groups, and types of care are driving spending increases. This information can be used to identify where new technologies and processes could be applied to help cut back on costs while still seeing the greatest return on investment.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

 

Dieleman JL, Baral R, Birger M, Bui AL, Bulchis A, Chapin A, Hamavid H, Horst C, Johnson EK, Joseph J, Lavado R, Lomsadze L, Reynolds A, Squires E, Campbell M, DeCenso B, Dicker D, Flaxman AD, Gabert R, Highfill T, Naghavi M, Nightingale N, Templin T, Tobias MI, Vos T, Murray CJL. US Spending on Personal Health Care and Public Health, 1996-2013. JAMA. 2016;316(24):2627-2646. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.16885

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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