Direct Costs


Lead Author(s): 

Edward H. Yelin, PhD
Miriam Cisternas, MA

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

The increasing prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions, along with a growing and aging population, has resulted in more than a 44% increase in total aggregate direct cost to treat persons with a musculoskeletal condition over the past decade (2002-2004 to 2012-2014), in constant 2014 dollars. For the years between 2012 and 2014, the annual average direct cost in 2014 dollars for musculoskeletal health care—both as a direct result of a musculoskeletal disease and for patients with a musculoskeletal disease in addition to other health issues—is estimated to be $980.1 billion, the equivalent of 5.76% of the national gross domestic product (GDP).

Total medical care costs are the costs for treating all of an individual’s conditions, including musculoskeletal conditions. Incremental medical care costs are that part of total medical care costs attributable solely to the musculoskeletal conditions. Incremental medical costs for musculoskeletal conditions for the years between 2012 and 2014 are estimated to be $162.4 billion, in 2014 dollars. (Reference Table 8.14 PDF CSV, and Table 8.6.1 PDF CSV)


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