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Top 10 Most Expensive Chronic Diseases for Healthcare Payers

Chronic diseases continue to grow among the U.S. population and dramatically affect the way we live and spend our healthcare dollars. Healthcare spending reached a total of $3.6 trillion in 2018, according to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services national healthcare expenditure data. Below lists the top ten chronic illnesses and their related cost burden on the U.S. population in descending order.

  1. Cardiovascular diseases – Total cost = $317 billion per year, split between $193.7 billion in direct medical costs and $123.5 billion in lost productivity.
  2. Smoking-related health issues – Total cost = $300 billion per year, split between direct healthcare expenses of $170 billion and indirect costs of roughly $156 billion.
  3. Alcohol-related health issues – Estimated cost = $249 billion, or roughly $2.05 per drink. Alcohol-related deaths totaled 88,000 people per year and shortened the lives of working adults by an average of 30 years.
  4. Diabetes – Diabetes care cost = $245 billion in 2016. 71% of treatment costs were related to direct healthcare expenses, which equates to 20 percent of U.S. healthcare spending.
  5. Alzheimer’s disease – Direct healthcare expenses for providing Alzheimer’s patients with long-term and hospice care cost $236 billion in 2016. The disease affects 5.4 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the country.
  6. Cancer – Cancer care cost is roughly $171 billion a year. The CDC predicts that cancer will be the leading cause of death in the U.S. by the year 2020. Every year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of cancer and another 500,000 die from the disease.
  7. Obesity – The U.S. spends $147 billion on healthcare related to obesity and roughly $117 billion on costs related to inadequate physical activity.
  8. Arthritis – Total cost of arthritis in the U.S. was estimated at $128 billion, split between $81 billion in direct medical expenses and $47 billion in related losses of productivity and care management.
  9. Asthma – Asthma care in the U.S. has an economic impact of $56 billion from direct medical costs as well as losses in work productivity and school absences. Approximately 1 in 12 Americans, or 25 million people, have asthma.
  10. Stroke – Stroke in the U.S. creates medical expenses of $33 billion annually and accounts for 1 out of 20 deaths in the country, about 130,000 deaths per year.

Take some comfort knowing that credit union employees file 23% less in claims’ dollars, on average, when compared to all other industries, and that is why I-Care was formed in 2015. Through healthcare data analytics, I-Care leverages the healthier pool of credit union employees to obtain greater cost savings from insurance companies and to help thwart the ever-increasing cost of healthcare insurance.

For more information about I-Care, please call us at (414) 433-0174 or visit InterLutionsCUSO.com.

Beaton, T. (2018, August 30). Top 10 Most Expensive Chronic Diseases for Healthcare Payers. Retrieved January 1, 2020, from https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/top-10-most-expensive-chronic-diseases-for-healthcare-payers.