Chronic Disease  /  Economic Value

While medical innovations and public health gains in the past century have been measurable in leaps and bounds, significant progress against acute disease has revealed an equally enormous challenge—chronic disease on an unprecedented scale. Close to half of Americans have chronic conditions and 1 in 4 have more than one. They cause 7 out of every 10 deaths and cost our country 75 cents of every health care dollar. With chronic disease prevalence growing at a faster rate than the population as a whole, the forecast is daunting.

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    • Eliminating hypertension in all elderly persons would result in 75 million additional disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and reduce Medicare spending by around $890 billion.  
    • Improvements in preventing and managing chronic disease could reduce future economic costs in the United States by 27% ($1.1 trillion) in 2023. $905 billion would come from gains in productivity;…  
    • Resonable disease prevention and management efforts could add $5.7 trillion to the nation’s economic output by 2050– a boost of 18%.  
    • Delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, innovations that delay disability among the elderly through 2009, and a 25% increase in efficiency and effectiveness of cancer treatment would save $138 billion…  
    • Appropriate use of diagnostics prevents between $28-$46 million in prescription drug, outpatient and inpatient costs.  
    • Private health insurance benefit spending is predicted to slow from a peak of 9.5% in 2001 to 4.7% in 2006, partially because of Medicare Part D.  
    • National health spending growth is projected to slow from 6.9% in 2005 to 6.8% in 2006, which marks the 4th consecutive year of a slowing trend.  
    • From 1970-2000, increased longevity added approximately $3.2 trillion per year to national wealth, the equivalent of half of the average annual gross domestic product over the period. Half of these…  
    • Spending $11,000 on general medical care adds an average of 1 year of life. Spending only $1,345 on pharmaceutical research and development yields the same return.  
    • Every $1 invested in newer medications saves $7 in other costs.  
    • Increased longevity added about $3.2 trillion per year to national wealth between 1970 and 2000, an uncounted value equal to approximately 1/2 of the average annual GDP during that period.  
    • Analysis suggests that in the past 20 years, each additional dollar spent on health care services produced health gains valued at between $2.40 and $3.00.  
    • Greater Adherence to Medicines Decreases Total Health Care Spending  
    • Increased Use of Medicines Reduces Overall Health Care Costs: Mental health/substance abuse (MH/SA) spending per patient fell as drug spending increased, 1992-1999  
    • Using Newer Medicines Results in Savings of $111 per Treated Condition  
    • For every $1 spent on newer instead of older medicines, total health care spending is reduced by $6.17.  
    • For each $1 spent on newer pharmaceuticals. $6.17 is saved in total health care spending. $4.44 of this savings is in hospital spending alone.  
    • During the twentieth century, cumulative gains in life expectancy, for both men and women, were worth over $1.2 million per person.