Theresa Juday, RPh, director, Specialty Product Development, CVS Health, discusses the indirect and direct cost burden associated with chronic insomnia.
Patients with chronic insomnia have been shown in prior research to have an increased health care cost burden than the general population, which may also affect employers and payers, said Theresa Juday, RPh, director, Specialty Product Development, CVS Health.
Can you speak on the direct and indirect cost-related implications of chronic insomnia treatment?
From a direct cost perspective, we've seen several studies that show that people with chronic insomnia really can have higher health care costs. One study showed that patients with chronic insomnia had 46% higher health care costs 12 months post diagnosis than patients who did not have chronic insomnia.
And if you add in a comorbidity, so if you are a patient with chronic insomnia who also happens to have diabetes or obesity issues, then you have 80% higher health care costs. So, just from a direct health care cost perspective, certainly chronic insomnia has been shown to increase costs. But when you think about what's indirect, you've got a couple of areas.
Number one, complications can be seen for patients who have chronic insomnia. So, they are at higher risk of developing depression, heart disease, diabetes, anxiety disorders. And in addition, they are also more likely, at least in some studies, to have increased infection rates—in patients who have chronic insomnia.
In addition to those items, we also see that indirect costs can extend to employers. One study showed that work-related incidents caused by chronic insomnia actually cost US employers about $31 billion. So, you not only can have impact from direct health care costs and direct patient health in terms of increased infection risks, increased chance of developing certain comorbidities, but it's also directing payer costs as well, considering these [issues], such as lost productivity, workplace accidents, etc.