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Rise in comorbidities contributes to increasing medical costs: Study

Rise in comorbidities contributes to increasing medical costs: Study

The share of workers compensation claimants suffering from comorbidities is on the upswing, nearly tripling in recent years and driving up medical costs, according to a study released Wednesday.

Comorbidities present in workers compensation claims grew from 2.4% in 2000 to 6.6% in 2009, according to the report from Boca Raton, Fla.-based NCCI Holdings Inc., which relied on a nationwide sample of claims.

Over the nine-year span, the share of claims with a drug abuse diagnosis, including alcohol and tobacco, more than quadrupled, NCCI found. Other comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity have tripled.

The NCCI research brief titled “Comorbidities in Workers Compensation,” also reviews a wide range of issues such as the role of gender, the association of comorbidities of with injury types, and the increase in medical services necessary when specific comorbidities accompany a claim.

The research brief is available here.

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