News: Five conditions total 50% of healthcare costs, study finds
A study from Health Action Council (HAC) and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) found that just five conditions make up 50% of healthcare spending.
Cancer makes up nearly 15% of all healthcare spending with employers in the study paying $533 million for nearly 103,000 cancer claims. The primary cost associated with the condition was chemotherapy, making up 18% of cancer costs averaging $74,000 per patient.
Musculoskeletal conditions (including joint wear, knee injuries, hip pain, etc.) makes up 13% of healthcare spending with employers spending $477 million for 317,000 musculoskeletal claims. The primary cost associated with the condition was knee osteoarthritis, making up 8% of musculoskeletal costs. According to the study, the growing prevalence of obesity can be associated with progression of osteoarthritis, with patients having a BMI greater than 30 are between 9 and 33 times more likely to require joint replacement surgery.
Cardiovascular conditions (including heart rhythm issues, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure) makes up 9% of healthcare spending with employers paying $357 million towards 169,000 claims. The primary cost associated with the condition was abnormal heart rhythms making up 10% of cardiovascular costs.
Gastrointestinal conditions (including colitis, irritable bowel system, celiac disease, etc.) makes up 7% of healthcare spending with employers paying $284 million for 136,000 claims. The primary cost associated with the condition is immunosuppressive drugs, making up 12% of total gastrointestinal costs.
Neurological conditions (including Parkinson’s disease, migraines, epilepsy, etc.) makes up 6% of total healthcare spending with employers paying $225 million for 240,000 claims. The primary cost associated with neurological conditions was multiple sclerosis medications, making up 13% of all costs for these claims.
Editor’s note: The HAC and UHC study can be found here.