The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Mental Illness Was One Of The Costliest Conditions Between 1996 To 2006

Here is an article that describes a study comparing Mental Illness costs against the total costs for heart disease, cancer, trauma-related disorders, and asthma. As you will see, these five illnesses are the major players in health care costs and although mental illness treatment has increased, per this article, the average per-patient spending went down.

After reading this article, I am left wondering why the spending has reduced.  Maybe insurance is now picking up more of the costs or maybe there are more programs available for the low-income patient that are free or sliding-scale.

Although mental health is listed here as one of the major expenses for health care, I am not convinced that it should be listed as one of the costliest conditions.

Mental Illness Was One Of The Costliest Conditions Between 1996 To 2006

The number of Americans under care for depression and other mental illnesses nearly doubled between 1996 and 2006, and the overall cost of treating them jumped by nearly two-thirds, according to the latest News and Numbers from HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.According to the analysis by the federal agency, the number of patients treated for mental disorders, including depression and bipolar disease, increased from 19 million to 36 million. The overall treatment costs for mental disorders rose from $35 billion (in 2006 dollars) to nearly $58 billion, making it one of the top 5 costliest medical conditions between 1996 and 2006.In addition, the study concluded that: * Heart disease, cancer, trauma-related disorders, and asthma were among the other five most costly conditions in both 1996 and 2006.

Overall spending for heart disease treatment increased the least, from $72 billion in 1996 to $78 billion in 2006. * Spending for cancer treatment went from $47 billion to $58 billion; asthma costs rose from $36 billion to $51 billion; and the cost to treat trauma-related disorders climbed from $46 billion to $68 billion. * In terms of average per-patient cost, Cancer accounted for the highest, up slightly from $5,067 to $5,178, but treatment costs for trauma and asthma rose more steeply, increasing from $1,220 to $1,953 and from $863 to $1,059, respectively. In contrast, average per-patient spending for heart conditions and mental disorder fell from $4,333 to $3,964 and $1,825 to $1,591, respectively.

Citation:Soni, Anita.

The Five Most Costly Conditions, 1996 and 2006: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population. Statistical Brief #248. July 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. PDF.SourceAHRQ

Mental Illness Was One Of The Costliest Conditions Between 1996 To 2006

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August 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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