A first of a kind study by any state projects that chronic disease treatment costs for Minnesotans older than 60 will increase to $16.1 billion a year by 2023, a 65 percent increase from the $9.8 billion Minnesota spent in 2014.
This study, Treated Chronic Disease Costs in Minnesota – a Look Back and a Look Forward, analyzed an extensive state database of health insurance claims to determine the number of people treated for certain chronic conditions: diabetes, hypertension and dementia. It also forecasted treatment costs related to obesity and smoking exposure, as well as all chronic conditions for people 60 or older.
The Minnesota Department of Health study found that, except for treatments related to smoking, a higher percentage of Minnesotans were treated for these conditions in 2014 than 2009.
“This is more evidence that Minnesota will not be able to treat its way out of our current primary health challenge, which is chronic disease,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “Without a strong and continuing focus on preventing and managing chronic disease, both the costs and the impact on the quality of life for individuals and communities will only increase.”