We sought to compare the medical services utilization and average annual direct (ie, medical and medication) and indirect (ie, work-loss) costs for employees with painful conditions to a random sample (“average employee”).
An employer administrative claims database (approximately 600,000 insured lives) was used to identify patients with ICD-9 codes for painful conditions. Direct costs were total employer medical and medication costs and indirect costs were associated with medically related absenteeism days and disability claims.
Among employees with painful conditions, total costs were 1.5 to 3.5 times as high (P < 0.01) as those of the average employee (ie, $7088 to $16,874 compared with $4,849) depending on the painful condition.
Painful conditions are costly to employers, and better management/treatment of such conditions may help reduce the associated employer economic burden.
From the Analysis Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts (Drs White, Birnbaum, Ms Mareva, Mr Henckler); Purdue Pharma, L.P., Stamford, Connecticut (Dr Grossman); and Ingenix, New Haven, Connecticut (Mr Mallett).
Supported by Purdue Pharma, L.P.
Alan White works as a consultant for the Analysis Group.
Address correspondence to: Alan G. White, PhD, 111 Huntington Avenue, 10th Floor, Boston, MA 02199; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.