The Impact of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Canada 2018: Indirect Costs of IBD Care.J Can Assoc Gastroenterol 2019; 2(Suppl 1):S34-S41JC
The indirect cost of illness represents the portion of human capital that is foregone due to lost productivity of patients and their caregivers and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses borne directly by patients. Indirect costs among persons with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) may be substantial because disease onset occurs during the teens and 20s for most persons and is lifelong. Thus, most persons with IBD are affected during periods of study or employment. The literature on indirect health-related costs among persons with IBD is limited, particularly with regard to Canadian studies. The greatest burden of indirect costs in this population relates to absenteeism and presenteeism among working individuals and premature retirement. However, costs related to reduced professional development and personal achievement due to illness-as well as caregiver costs-are largely unknown. After being extrapolated from multiple sources, the total indirect health-related cost of IBD in Canada in 2018 is estimated to be $1.29 billion Canadian dollars. Notably, this may be a significant underestimate because costs relating to presenteeism, reduced achievement and caregiver burden could not be estimated and are excluded from this calculation.
Indirect costs account for a major portion of total healthcare costs among persons with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and are higher than indirect costs among persons without IBD.Persons with IBD are more likely to require time off work (absenteeism) and have reduced productivity at work (presenteeism) due to illness as compared with persons without IBD.Premature retirement and long-term disability are major factors contributing to indirect costs among IBD patients.A substantial proportion of individuals with IBD pay out-of-pocket for complementary and alternative medicines.After being extrapolated from multiple sources, the total annual indirect cost of IBD in Canada is estimated to be $1.29 billion CAD in 2018, or $4781 CAD per person with IBD.
Key Summary Points
The total indirect economic burden of IBD in Canada is estimated to be $1.29 billion CAD in 2018, or roughly $4781 CAD per person with IBD. This estimate comprises lost wages related to sick days and disability, premature retirement and premature death, and out-of-pocket costs. Losses from presenteeism, reduced professional development and caregiver burden are not included due to insufficient data on the cost impact of these factors.In a meta-analysis of studies between 1994 and 2014, the annual indirect cost of absenteeism for IBD patients ranged from $515.67 USD (USA) to $14,727 USD (Germany) per patient per annum (pooled estimate $7189 USD), after adjusting for purchasing power disparity.A large US survey found that, on average, IBD patients incurred an extra 4.8 days off of work and $783 USD in excess lost wages annually compared with persons without IBD.A study based on US private insurance claims found that ulcerative colitis patients cost an additional $2164 per person per annum relating to disability days and medically related absenteeism.A prospective study from an IBD centre reported weekly indirect health-related costs of $1133 for IBD patients with active disease, $370.13 for IBD patients in remission, and $191.23 for persons without IBD relating to both presenteeism and absenteeism.In a survey of 744 IBD patients from Manitoba, reduced workplace productivity during the previous 14 days was reported in 37% of individuals, including a reduction of one to two days by 18% of patients, thre to nine days by 16% of patients, and on most days by 3% of patients.The estimated average lifetime lost wages due to premature retirement is $1,044,498 CAD per person with Crohn's disease and $994,760 CAD per person with ulcerative colitis. Aggregated over all IBD retirees, this equates to roughly $629 million CAD in permanent lost wages annually due to premature retirement.The lifetime indirect cost associated with premature death among IBD patients is estimated to be $746,070 CAD per decedent, or roughly $33.6 million aggregated across all IBD decedents of working age.In a US study of caregivers of children, the average unadjusted annual work loss was 214 hours for caregivers of Crohn's disease patients and 170 hours for caregivers of children without IBD, translating to an additional $1122 in lost productivity for caregivers of persons with Crohn's disease.Canadian studies have reported complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) use in 56% to 74% of people with IBD. A US national survey study estimated annual per-person out of pocket costs of $1603 USD for Crohn's disease patients and $1263 USD for ulcerative colitis patients, which were substantially higher than in persons without IBD.
Gaps in Knowledge and Future Directions
Canadian-specific data on indirect health-related costs of IBD is sparse across all domains of indirect costs.In particular, the rates of absenteeism, presenteeism and premature retirement among IBD patients living in Canada require further study to gauge more accurately the indirect health-related costs of IBD in Canada.Indirect costs relating to decreased professional development, caregiver burden and out-of-pocket purchases among IBD patients are largely unknown and require further study.Indirect costs incurred by Canadian children with IBD and their families or caregivers are largely unknown.