Getting sick is expensive. When it comes to gastrointestinal (GI) issues, the numbers are shocking.
The report below examines the healthcare costs of GI symptoms like heartburn, diarrhea, and vomiting, as well as chronic GI diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). New numbers show that GI trouble is not only becoming more prevalent across the US, but it’s also becoming more expensive to treat. How expensive?
One hundred thirty-six billion dollars.
Just to be clear that’s 9 zero’s.
One hundred thirty-six billion dollars is the total spent on GI conditions in the US in a year. This is more than heart disease ($113 billion), trauma ($103 billion), or mental health ($99 billion). And this number is growing.
Not just a financial problem
The burden of GI disease is not just a money problem. In addition to the toll it takes on patients (unpredictable and embarrassing symptoms, reduced quality of life, frequent hospital visits), it’s also felt by the healthcare system. This year, hospitals across the country will struggle to manage 3 million admissions for GI diseases. The number of GI patients is far outpacing the number of specialists. At a cost of $31 billion for GI hospital admissions, experts agree this rate of growth is unsustainable.
Doing something about it
As gastrointestinal diseases become more common, improvements in patient education and disease management can play a major role in driving down costs. But where to start?
Workplace benefits addressing GI health can be a great place to start. Self-funded employers and health plans are the ones paying a huge bulk of these rising healthcare costs. Investing in a digestive wellness program for employees and covered dependents just makes sense.
About Vivante Health
Vivante Health is an innovative digital healthcare company reinventing the way chronic conditions are managed, starting with digestive disease. Our all-in-one digital gut health program, GIThrive, empowers people—through brilliant technology and advanced science—to improve gut health, while lowering cost of care. Learn how employers and health plans are saving money with GIThrive.
Original Article: Burden and Costs of Gastrointestinal Disease in the U.S.