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Lupus is a Significant Cost to Employers, According to Thomson Reuters Study
Date:1/9/2009

ing the healthcare experience of 17 million enrollees from over 100 large U.S. employers, to select patient samples for the study. Patients who had at least one inpatient or two outpatient lupus claims were matched with patients who had no indication of the disease but were similar in other respects (demographic, health plan, location, and health status characteristics).

They found that patients with systemic lupus erythematosus had significantly higher direct medical expenses compared to the matched patients. Mean total medical expenditures for the year were $19,502 - more than twice those of the control group during the same period. Short-term disability costs were also higher for lupus patients, though absence costs were not. Lupus patients with nephritis had much higher medical expenses. The mean annual total medical expenditures for these patients were almost four times higher than those for lupus patients without nephritis and $46,862 higher than those of the control group.

Using similar methods, the authors found that patients with asthma had annual costs of $8,907. Diabetes patients had annual costs of $14,709, and heart disease patients had annual costs of $17,860. The authors also examined the cost burden per employee, calculated by multiplying the cost per patient with the condition and the prevalence of that condition. Since lupus is relatively rare, the average cost of lupus per employee was $22. The average cost per employee for asthma was $191. For heart disease, this was $312.

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The Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters produces insights, information, benchmarks and analysis that enable organizations to manage costs, improve performance and enhance the quality of healthcare. Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver c
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