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Research & Reports

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The Economic Burden of Chronic Disorders, a Case Study: How Far Are HONDAs Driving Healthcare Costs?

The CMS estimates that U.S. national healthcare expenditures exceeded $2.7 trillion in 2011, representing 17.9% of total GDP. Increasingly, experts are focusing on the impact of medical costs associated with chronic disorders, which the CDC estimate to be responsible for as much as 75% of U.S. national healthcare expenditures. The burden of chronic diseases, and their costs, will continue to rise as the U.S. population simultaneously grows in size, becomes heavier, and ages.

As a case study, we look in depth at the multi-morbid HONDA population in the United States. These patients concurrently have hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and asthma and are notoriously noncompliant—each of these diseases is a modifiable risk factor that both exacerbates and increases the risk for severe complications and acute medical events that contribute to the astronomical U.S. healthcare spend.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • The United States leads the world in total healthcare expenditure, with 2011 spend exceeding $2.7 trillion and forecast to approach $4.8 trillion by 2021. What factors are driving the increase in U.S. health expenditure? How does the United States compare with other countries globally in terms of national healthcare expenditure and per capita healthcare spend?

  • The HONDA patients are noncompliant and have comorbid hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and asthma. This multi-morbid population is prone to developing severe cardiovascular, diabetic, and renal complications and is responsible for a significant proportion of total healthcare costs. What is the size of the prevalent HONDA population? What U.S. counties represent HONDA hotspots, areas where severe, costly age-related complications will cluster in the future?

  • Pharmaceutical expenditures for chronic diseases are growing in the United States, and the drugs used to treat HONDA patients are forecast to be among the highest selling and fastest growing from 2012-2019. What are the key strategies to capitalize on the opportunities presented by HONDAs?


Markets covered: United States.

Epidemiology: U.S. county-specific prevalence of hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and the multi-morbid population.

Primary research: Six interviewed experts:

- Medical director, U.S. health plan, <50,000 lives

- Medical director, U.S. health plan, >7 million lives

- Medical director, U.S. health plan, >10 million lives

- Pharmacy director, U.S. health plan, >3 million lives

- Professor of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois

- Quality director, U.S. health plan, >250,000 lives