It may sound obvious, but a study conducted at the University of Otago in New Zealand confirms the cost of treating someone who has more than one chronic medical condition is higher than the cost of treating each condition separately.
The study, which was published in PLOS Medicine, used comprehensive health data on 18.9 million people over the period from 2007 to 2014. The researchers calculated average annual health spending per person related to these six disease classifications or combinations of them:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Neurological disorders
- Lung/liver/kidney diseases
Taking into account hospitalizations, outpatient services, prescription medications, laboratory tests, and primary care, the researchers found that about 24 percent of the total spending could be attributed to the additional cost of treating two or more of these conditions — above and beyond the cost of treating each disease separately.
Sourced from: PLOS Medicine