Healthcare costs among patients with chronic constipation: a retrospective claims analysis in a commercially insured population

Qian Cai, Jessica L Buono, William M Spalding, Phil Sarocco, Hiangkiat Tan, Judith J Stephenson, Robyn T Carson, Jalpa A Doshi
Journal of Medical Economics 2014, 17 (2): 148-58

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate total annual all-cause, gastrointestinal-related, and symptom-related healthcare costs among chronic constipation (CC) patients and estimate incremental all-cause healthcare costs of CC patients relative to matched controls.

METHODS: Patients aged ≥18 years with continuous medical and pharmacy benefit eligibility in 2010 were identified from the HealthCore Integrated Research Database. CC patients had ≥2 medical claims for constipation (ICD-9-CM code 564.0x) ≥90 days apart or ≥1 medical claim for constipation plus ≥1 constipation-related pharmacy claim ≥90 days apart, and no medical claims for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Sub-groups with and without abdominal symptoms were classified according to the presence/absence of abdominal pain (ICD-9-CM code 789.0x) and bloating (ICD-9-CM code 787.3x). Controls without claims for constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, or IBS or constipation-related prescriptions were randomly selected and matched 1:1 with CC patients on age, gender, health plan region, and plan type. Generalized linear models with bootstrapping evaluated incremental all-cause costs attributable to CC, adjusting for demographics and comorbidities.

RESULTS: Overall, 14,854 patients (n = 7427 each in CC and control groups) were identified (mean age = 59 years; 75.4% female). Mean annual all-cause costs for CC patients were $11,991 (2010 USD), with nearly half (44.8%) attributable to outpatient services, including physician office visits and other outpatient services (10.0% and 34.8%, respectively). GI-related costs comprised 33.7% of total all-cause costs. Symptom-related costs accounted for 10.5%, primarily driven by costs of other outpatient services (50.6%). Adjusted incremental all-cause costs associated with CC were $3508 per patient per year ($4446 for CC with abdominal symptoms; $2783 for CC without abdominal symptoms), of which 81.0% were from medical services. Incremental cost estimates may be over- or under-estimated due to classification based on claims.

CONCLUSIONS: CC imposes a substantial burden in direct healthcare costs in a commercially insured population, mainly attributable to greater use of medical services.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"