Cost to Treat Musculoskeletal Diseases


Lead Author(s): 

Edward H. Yelin, PhD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

The mean direct cost per year per individual patient with a musculoskeletal disease has increased nearly 61% between the years 1996 to 1998 and 2009 to 2011, rising from just over $4,800 to nearly $7,800 per person in this time frame. Incremental costs, those cost most likely attributable to a musculoskeletal disease, rose from about $1,300 to $2,075. (Reference Table 10.4 PDF CSV, Table 10.5  PDF CSV
Per Person Mean Total and Incremental Direct Costs for Musculoskeletal Diseases in 2011 Dollars,  United States 1996-2011
At the same time, with the increasing number of individuals with musculoskeletal diseases in a growing and aging population, aggregate total direct cost to treat persons with a musculoskeletal disease between the years 1996 to 1998 and 2009 to 2011 increased by about 117%. For the years 2009 to 2011, the annual aggregate total direct cost, in 2011 dollars, is estimated to be $796.3 billion. Aggregate incremental medical cost is estimated to be $212.7 billion in 2009 to 2011, an increase of about 119% from the earlier time period. (Reference Table 10.6  PDF  CSV, Table 10.7  PDF  CSV)
Aggregate Total and Incremental Direct Costs for Musculoskeletal Diseases in 2011 $d, United States 1996-2011
Indirect total cost, as the difference in wages for persons age 18 to 64 years with a work history, and with and without musculoskeletal conditions, add another $77.5 billion to the aggregate cost for all persons with a musculoskeletal disease. Incremental indirect costs attributable to musculoskeletal disease alone are estimated to amount to $130.7 billion, indicating that wage losses attributable to musculoskeletal conditions are greater than the mean difference in wages between the two groups. Aggregate total indirect cost increased by 168% from the estimate in 1996 to 1998 to that of 2009 to 2011; aggregate incremental indirect costs rose by about 184%. (Reference Table 10.12  PDF  CSV)
Aggregate Total and Incremental Indirect[1] Cost  in 2011 Dollars for Persons Age 18 to 64 with Musculoskeletal Diseases and a Work History, United States 1996-2011
Taking into account all costs for persons with a musculoskeletal disease, including other comorbid conditions, the total aggregate cost of treating these individuals, plus the cost to society in the form of decreased or lost wages (indirect cost), is estimated to be $873.8 billion per year. (Reference Table 10.14  PDF  CSV)


  • 2014

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