“Chronic diseases are on the rise in the United States, leaving healthcare payers with the challenge of covering care for patients with these expensive, long-term conditions,” Thomas Beaton writes over at Healthpayer Intelligence. “Healthcare spending reached a total of $3.2 trillion dollars in 2015, based upon estimates from CMS. Spending is expected to continue to grow at an average of 5.5 percent through 2025, with chronic diseases treatment comprising a major portion of that spending. Based on the latest data from the CDC and presented in descending order, here are the top 10 most expensive chronic diseases for healthcare payers to treat. CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES The costs of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in the US total $317 billion per year, split between $193.7 billion in direct medical costs and $123.5 billion in lost productivity. The sheer volume of patients that experience CVD fatalities is an ever-growing concern for payers. According to the CDC, an adult dies from a CVD-related health condition such as a heart attack every 40 seconds. These deaths account for 31 percent of all US deaths each year. CVD treatment accounts for roughly one dollar of every $6 spent on healthcare in the country.” Others: Smoking-related health issues, over $300 billion; alcohol-related health issues, $249 billion; diabetes, $245 billion; Alzheimers, $236 billion; cancer, $171 billion; obesity, $147 billion; arthritis, $128 billion; asthma, $56 billion; stroke, $33 billion. Thomas Beaton, “Top 10 Most Expensive Chronic Diseases for Healthcare Payers,” Healthpayer Intelligence.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.