Osteoarthritis Increases Aggregate Health Care Expenditures

Expected Care for OA
Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Osteoarthritis (OA) raised aggregate annual medical care expenditures in the United States by $185.5 billion according to researchers from Stony Brook University. Results of the cost analysis study are published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

John Rizzo, Ph.D., and colleagues used data from the 1996 to 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to determine the overall annual expected medical care expenditures for OA in the United States. The sample included 84,647 women and 70,590 men aged 18 years and older who had health insurance. Expenditures for physician, hospital, and outpatient services, as well expenditures for drugs, diagnostic testing, and related medical services were included. Health care expenses were expressed in 2007 dollars using the Medical Care Component of the Consumer Price Index.

Researchers, using multivariable regression models, determined annual insurer health care expenditures were $4,833 for women and $4,036 for men. Out-of-pocket expenses were also higher in women than men, at $1,379 and $694, respectively.

“Understanding the economic costs of OA is important for payers, providers, patients, and other stakeholders,” Rizzo said in a news release. “Our study clearly reflects the significant impact of OA on U.S. health care spending.”

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