Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the direct medical cost of treating major chronic illnesses in Maccabi Healthcare Services, a 1.8 million member health maintenance organization in Israel. Methods: Direct medical costs were calculated for each member in 2006. We used multiple linear regression models to evaluate the overall costs of chronic conditions (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, female infertility treatments, and cancer), pregnancy and treatments for female infertility. Results: According to the study model, hypertension was associated with the largest direct medical costs in both sexes. Cardiovascular diseases accounted for 9.5% of the total direct medical costs in men, but only 5.9% in women. Diabetes mellitus accounted for 3.5% of the total medical costs both in men and women and is comparable to the total pregnancy-related costs in women. Conclusions: The findings indicate that hypertension, diabetes mellitus and female infertility treatments impose a considerable economic burden on public healthcare services in Israel which is comparable with the costs of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- Chronic care
- Health economics