• Health & Wellness

    Study Finds Bipolar Disorder Costlier Than Many Chronic Diseases

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that bipolar disorder (BPD) is a more costly chronic condition than diabetes, depression, asthma and coronary artery disease (CAD), based on a review of health care claim costs. Specialty care costs (the costs of seeing any specialist and all tests ordered) were especially higher for bipolar patients. Results of this review were presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco.

Psychiatric care costs represented only a portion of the specialty care costs for these chronic conditions, explains Mark Williams, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and lead researcher. This suggests that many of the specialty costs for bipolar patients are not directly related to seeing a mental health provider.

A data review of health care claims over a four-year period, showed patients with BPD had significantly higher total per member per month costs when compared with the other groups. Only patients with both CAD and diabetes had higher costs than patients with BPD. Total costs, specialty care visits, specialty care costs, outpatient psychiatric costs and outpatient psychiatric visits were compared.