Infectious Diseases 2018

Infectious Diseases 2018

USA: Antibiotic-Resistant Infection Treatment Costs

Health Affairs 23 March, 2018

Antibiotic-resistant infections are a global health care concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 23,000 Americans with these infections die each year. Rising infection rates add to the costs of health care and compromise the quality of medical and surgical procedures provided. Little is known about the national health care costs attributable to treating the infections. Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, A new research estimated the incremental health care costs of treating a resistant infection as well as the total national costs of treating such infections. The study, which is the first national estimate of the incremental costs for treating antibiotic-resistant infections, also found that the share of bacterial infections in the United States that were antibiotic resistant more than doubled over 13 years, rising from 5.2% in 2002 to 11% in 2014. The results showed an average of nearly 14 million bacterial infections per year in the United States over the study period. That number remained relatively constant, totaling 13.5 million infections in 2002 and 14.3 million in 2014. But the number of antibiotic-resistant infections more than doubled, climbing from 700,000 in 2002 to 1.6 million in 2014. 
The researchers found that antibiotic resistance added $1,383 to the cost of treating a patient with a bacterial infection. Using the estimated number of such infections in 2014, this amounts to a national cost of $2.2 billion annually.