In 2010, a total of $36.1 billion was spent in national medical and absenteeism costs with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its sequelae, a report presented by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed.
The report, entitled, “Total and state-specific medical and absenteeism costs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults aged ≥18 years in the United States for 2010 and projections through 2020,” which was published in the journal Chest, the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians, aimed to estimate the annual amount spent to support the national COPD-attributable direct and indirect costs. In addition, researchers projected the costs the nation will have to support by 2020.
Results showed that COPD patients missed approximately 16.4 million days of work due to their disease. The direct medical costs were $32.1 billion, while absenteeism represented $3.9 billion. Of the total medical costs, 18% was paid by private insurance, 51% by Medicare, and 25% by Medicaid. Furthermore, in less than a decade, national medical costs should increase to $49 billion.
The report also provides a state-specific analysis of the costs for COPD. This “illustrates the potential medical and absenteeism costs savings to states through implementing state level programs that are designed to prevent the onset of COPD,” said in a press release Earl Ford, researcher with the Division of Population Health at the CDC.
Wyoming was the state where costs were higher in 2010, with $49.1 million spent, whereas only $2.8 billion were spent in California.
Concluding, researchers noted that interventions to prevent the consumption of tobacco and to reduce clinical complications of COPD may potentially reduce the costs related to this disease.