Mental Health Treatments Top List of US Healthcare Spending

Justin Karter
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According to new research, the United States spends over 200 billion annually on treatment and hospitalization for mental health issues, exceeding spending on heart conditions and cancer. Previous estimates of total healthcare spending by condition failed to account for costs associated with institutionalization but when this was factored into the latest research, the category of “mental disorders” moved to the top of the list by a substantial margin. More than 40% of spending on mental health issues are associated with institutionalization, the researchers found.

Open Access

Ten medical conditions with the highest estimated spending in 2013 SOURCE Roehrig, 2016 NOTES Institutionalized populations include nursing home residents, long-term patients in psychiatric hospitals, and prisoners. Trauma is fractures and wounds. Pulmonary conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and other pulmonary diseases.
Ten medical conditions with the highest estimated spending in 2013
SOURCE Roehrig, 2016
NOTES Institutionalized populations include nursing home residents, long-term patients in psychiatric hospitals, and prisoners. Trauma is fractures and wounds. Pulmonary conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and other pulmonary diseases.

 

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Roehrig, C., 2016. Mental Disorders Top The List Of The Most Costly Conditions In The United States: $201 Billion. Health Affairs, pp.10-1377. (Full Text)

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. WOW – look at that military spending. Almost half of the 200 billion we spend is for our military’s “mental health”. Our military, for those who don’t know, is just above 1% of US population. So 1% of the population is costing the country almost as much as the other 99 percent, if these figures are correct. That would be incredible, and might indicate how much psychological damage is being done to people by our wars.

    • “That would be incredible, and might indicate how much psychological damage is being done to people by our wars.”

      Yes, wars are horrible….

      …. however, the figures don’t separate out the damage that is almost certainly being done by the prescribing practices of the “mental health professionals” charged with looking after military personnel from the damage of trauma inherent in such situations.

      If drugging is the first line of treatment there’s probably a lot of iatrogenic injury occurring on top of the immense distress inherent in war.

  2. “200 billion annually on treatment and hospitalization for mental health issues,” and the psychiatric industry is still whining that they need more money spent on “mental health care.” Even after the DSM disorders were confessed, by the head of the NIMH, to be void of any scientific validity or reliability, and the UN confessed “forced psychiatric treatment is torture.” I’m quite certain providing food and shelter to the poor would be a better use of that money.