Economic Costs of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in the Private Sector

Published in: The Journal of Urology, v. 173, no. 4, Apr. 2005, p. 1309-1313

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Christopher S. Saigal, Geoffrey F. Joyce

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PURPOSE: Several studies document the impact of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in working, aged men. Direct medical costs related to BPH treatment are largely borne by employees through higher premiums. However, indirect costs related to lost work are primarily borne by the employer. In this study the authors used claims data and absentee records from large employers to estimate the costs associated with BPH in working age males. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors used 2 data sources to examine direct and indirect costs associated with BPH in a privately insured, nonelderly population. Multivariate regression models were used to predict spending for persons with and without a medical claim for BPH, controlling for relevant covariates. Data on work loss were linked to medical claims to estimate work loss related to treatment for BPH. RESULTS: Mean annual expenditures were $4,193 for men without a medical claim for BPH. In contrast, annual spending was $5,729 for men with a claim for BPH. Thus, the incremental cost associated with a diagnosis of BPH was $1,536 yearly. Overall the average employee with the condition missed 7.3 hours of work yearly related to BPH with approximately 10% reporting some work loss related to a health care encounter for BPH. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of men with BPH places a significant burden on employees and their employers through direct medical costs as well as through lost work time. Direct and indirect costs to the private sector related to BPH treatment are estimated to be $3.9 billion.

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