Mitra D, Davis KL, Baran RW. All-cause health care charges among managed care patients with constipation and comorbid irritable bowel syndrome. Postgrad Med. 2011 May 1;123(3):122-32.

OBJECTIVE: Chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are common gastrointestinal conditions with potentially significant burden on managed care systems. Our objective was to examine all-cause resource utilization and charges associated with constipation alone (C-only) and with IBS with comorbid constipation (IBS+C).

METHODS: Administrative claims from a US health plan between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2005 were analyzed. Patients with C-only (n = 48 585) and IBS+C (n = 10 952) were identified using International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes. Outcomes were compared with demographically matched controls and with a benchmark group of patients with migraine (N = 48 759). An index date was defined as the date 3 months prior to first observed diagnosis of the condition of interest. Outcomes were evaluated over a 12-month period before and after the index date.

RESULTS: The pre-to-post increase in total charges for subjects with C-only was substantially higher than that for the comparison group ($8837 vs $1717; P < 0.001) or the migraine group ($8837 vs $ 4804; P < 0.001). Subjects with IBS+C also had a greater pre-to-post increase in total charges than did comparison group members ($6192 vs $1319; P < 0.001) and subjects with migraine ($6192 vs $4804; P = 0.0120).

CONCLUSIONS: Both C-only and IBS+C impose substantial economic burden on third-party payers

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