Changes in healthcare spending attributable to obesity and overweight: payer- and service-specific estimates

Posted on 14.05.2022 - 05:18
Abstract Background National efforts to control US healthcare spending are potentially undermined by changes in patient characteristics, and in particular increases in rates of obesity and overweight. The objective of this study was to provide current estimates of the effect of obesity and overweight on healthcare spending overall, by service line and by payer using the National Institutes of Health classifications for BMI. Methods We used a quasi-experimental design and analyzed the data using generalized linear models and two-part models to estimate obesity- and overweight-attributable spending. Data was drawn from the 2006 and 2016 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey. We identified individuals in the different BMI classes based on self-reported height and weight. Results Total medical costs attributable to obesity rose to $126 billion per year by 2016, although the marginal cost of obesity declined for all obesity classes. The overall spending increase was due to an increase in obesity prevalence and a population shift to higher obesity classes. Obesity related spending between 2006 and 2016 was relatively constant due to decreases in inpatient spending, which were only partially offset by increases in outpatient spending. Conclusions While total obesity related spending between 2006 and 2016 was relatively constant, by examining the effect of different obesity classes and overweight, it provides insight into spend for each level of obesity and overweight across service line and payer mix. Obesity class 2 and 3 were the main factors driving spending increases, suggesting that persons over BMI of 35 should be the focus for policies focused on controlling spending, such as prevention.

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van den Broek-Altenburg, Eline; Atherly, Adam; Holladay, Evon (2022): Changes in healthcare spending attributable to obesity and overweight: payer- and service-specific estimates. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5995848.v1
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