Fecal Incontinence Costs ~$4,000 Per Patient Annually

Annual costs similar to those for treating urinary incontinence

WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Direct medical and nonmedical costs, plus indirect costs, including loss of productivity, for the treatment of fecal incontinence average $4,110 per patient annually, according to a study published in the May issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum.

Xiao Xu, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues analyzed survey results from 332 adults with fecal incontinence, defined as at least monthly leakage, for more than a year. Unit costs were determined based on standard Medicare reimbursement rates and national average wholesale prices of medications.

The researchers found that the average annual total cost for fecal incontinence was $4,110 per person (median, $1,594). Direct medical and nonmedical costs averaged $2,353 (median, $1,176) and $209 (median, $75), respectively. Indirect cost associated with productivity loss averaged $1,549 per patient annually. Greater fecal incontinence symptom severity was significantly associated with higher annual direct costs.

"Fecal incontinence is associated with substantial economic cost, calling for more attention to the prevention and effective management of this condition," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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