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Cost of Interstitial Cystitis in Managed Care High

Yearly cost at least $4,000 higher than in other patients

THURSDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women with interstitial cystitis have health care costs that are at least $4,000 a year higher than otherwise similar women, according to study findings published in the May issue of Urology.

J. Quentin Clemens, M.D., from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined direct medical costs, medication and procedure use in 239 women with interstitial cystitis in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest managed care population from 1998 to 2003. Each patient was matched by age and duration in the health plan to three controls.

The researchers found that women with interstitial cystitis had considerably higher mean yearly costs ($7,100 versus $2,994) and median yearly costs ($5,000 versus $1,304), which were primarily due to outpatient and pharmacy expenses. Medication and procedure use were also significantly higher, the report indicates.

"The direct per-person costs of interstitial cystitis are high, with average yearly costs approximately $4,000 greater than for the age-matched controls," Clemens and colleagues conclude. "This cost differential is an underestimate, because the costs preceding the diagnosis, the use of alternative therapies, indirect costs, and the costs of those with interstitial cystitis that is not diagnosed were not included."

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