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Health Care Expenditures, Hospitalizations, and Productivity Associated With Cancer in US Employer Settings

Tang, Derek H. MS; Alberts, David S. MD; Nevins, Rick MD; Sullivan, Sean JD; Skrepnek, Grant H. PhD, RPh

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 12 - p 1453–1460
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31827943e0
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Objective: To assess outcomes of health care expenditures, hospitalizations, and productivity among employed persons with cancer in the United States from 2004 to 2008.

Methods: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data were used in this retrospective cross-sectional study of employed adults aged 18 years or older with any diagnosis of malignant neoplasms. Multivariate regression analyses assessed the study's outcomes according to prominent cancer types and other factors.

Results: Overall, 3.31 million employed persons had cancer annually, incurring productivity losses of approximately 33.4 million disability days. Women's cancers and melanoma were associated with higher burdens of illness relative to other forms.

Conclusions: This nationally representative investigation found that disability days in employed persons with cancer equates to 20% of health care expenditures. Resources present within small organizational settings may be especially important to consider when implementing programs to prevent and cure cancer.

From the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy (Mr Tang, Dr Skrepnek), Tucson; The University of Arizona Cancer Center (Dr Alberts, Dr Skrepnek), Tucson; and Institute for Health and Productivity Management (Dr Nevins, Mr Sullivan), Scottsdale, Ariz.

Address correspondence to: Grant H. Skrepnek, PhD, RPh, Center for Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research, The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, 1295 North Martin Avenue, Drachman Hall, Pulido Center, Tucson, AZ 85721 (skrepnek@pharmacy.arizona.edu).

Recipient of the Best Poster Presentation at the 2011 Western Pharmacoeconomics Conference, Seattle, Washington, March 31 to April 2, 2011.

Authors Skrepnek, Tang, Alberts, Nevins, and Sullivan have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest. This research was not funded by any entity or organization.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine