facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Waterborne illness costs $539M per year

July 17, 2010 at 2:00 AM   |   Comments

ATLANTA, July 17 (UPI) -- The hospitalization cost of three U.S. waterborne diseases comes to more than $500 million annually, federal health officials say.

Study authors Michael Beach of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says healthcare costs for three common waterborne diseases -- Legionnaires' disease, cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis -- amount to $539 million annually.

Using data from a large insurance claims database from 2004 to 2007, Beach and colleagues estimated the hospitalization cost of the waterborne diseases. For each disease, they calculated the cost paid by the insurer, the out-of-pocket cost to the patient and the total amount paid.

"These cost data highlight that water-related diseases pose not only a physical burden to the thousands of people sickened by them each year, but also a substantial burden in healthcare costs, including direct government payments through Medicare and Medicaid," Beach said in a statement.

Inpatient hospitalization costs per case averaged more than $34,000 for Legionnaires' disease, about $9,000 for giardiasis and more than $21,000 for cryptosporidiosis, the study says.

"When people think about these diseases, they usually think of a simple case of diarrhea, which is a nuisance but quickly goes away," Beach said. "However, these infections can cause severe illness that often result in hospital stays of more than a week, which can quickly drive up healthcare costs."

The findings were presented at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
To breakfast or not to breakfast? That is the question...
2
India asks Pepsi to cut down on sugar in its soft drinks
3
New data shows Melbourne is most well-rested city in the world
4
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
5
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback