Sat. Apr 1st, 2023
More than $35 billion in US employer-sponsored health care costs for substance use disorders in the insured population

Researchers were able to quantify the annual medical costs of substance use disorders (SUDs) in patients with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), according to researchers in a study published in . JAMA network opened. Using recent financial transactions (total inpatient, total outpatient, and outpatient drug spending among ESI registrants for SUD), the researchers found that private insurance contributed 1 trillion to total U.S. private health care spending in 2018. estimated to have paid $100 billion.

“Among ESI registrants with SUD, this analysis extends what is known about the costs attributed to the ESI population,” the study authors wrote in a recent article. “In light of the potential to offset the high existing medical costs of SUDs, strategies to support employees and their health insurance dependents for prevention and treatment of SUDs can be explored.”

From 2001 to 2020, people aged 20 to 64 accounted for more than 90% of deaths from drug or alcohol poisoning. By 2020, he 11% of U.S. adult employees will report having her SUD, and more than 50% of her midsize employers will find opioids affecting their workplace. suggests.

This study aimed to understand how the workplace is affected by SUD. They estimated the applicable annual health care costs of SUD in the ESI population and performed an economic evaluation from the health payer’s perspective.

The primary endpoint examined annual SUD medical costs overall in the ESI population and annual SUD medical costs by substance type in the ESI population. The investigators also reported the average annual cost per his SUD diagnosed and the average annual cost per affected registrant by substance type.

Researchers surveyed 162 million non-Medicare ESI registrants drawn from the Merative MarketSacan 2018 database. The team used different types of modeling to calculate medical costs and compared spending among enrollees with and without a SUD diagnosis.

In 2018, 1.4% (2.3 million) of ESI enrollees diagnosed with SUD had annual attributed medical costs of $35.3 billion. Alcohol use disorders are the most costly, bringing him $10.2 billion to total annual medical costs. A patient with opioid use disorder also costs her $7.3 billion in total annual medical costs.

“More than half of the enrollees diagnosed with SUD had an alcohol-related disorder, and nearly 30% had an opioid-related disorder,” the researchers wrote in the article.

Alcohol- and opioid-related disorders were associated with higher average hospital costs of $3,988 and $3,570 per enrollee, respectively. Outpatient costs averaged $4,875 and $6,280 for him, with average total costs per patient of $8,939 and $11,871, respectively.

The data also led investigators to suggest that employers and health insurance payers paid higher medical costs than those reported in the study. This is based on the finding that 1% of the ESI population was diagnosed with SUD, even though 11% of employees self-reported her SUD.

Research is not without limits. First, the reported cost estimates are for those who have insurance, but not for those using self-pay services. In addition, we were unable to precisely match any specific comorbidities to enrollees, use weighted regression analysis, or assess her SUD cost among different demographics in subgroup analyses.

“Employers can take action by developing workplace-supported prevention, treatment, and recovery programs,” the study’s authors wrote in the analysis.


Roberts T, Kesselheim A, Variation in use of targeted lung cancer therapies in Avorn J. Medicaid programs, 2020-2021. JAMA net opened. 2023;6(1):e2252562.doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.52562

By admin