Objective: This study was designed to investigate the incidence, prevalence, treatment patterns, disease severity, and direct costs associated with ulcerative colitis (UC) for claimants in health plans offered by a large self-insured employer in the United States.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of medical claims with and without UC identified from a population of approximately 500,000 employees, retirees, and dependents.
Results: Costs for UC claimants were more than twice those for the comparator group ($14,486 vs $6158; P < 0.005). Total health care costs for the severe disease cohort were double those of the mild or moderate cohorts ($26,875 vs $12,154 and $12,731), as were inpatient costs ($13,516 vs $3235 and $2244). The annual incremental cost of treating severe disease was $6812 (P < 0.005) compared with mild UC.
Conclusion: UC is a significant predictor of increased medical costs with severe disease, driven mainly by inpatient costs.