Indirect Costs

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Lead Author(s): 

Edward H. Yelin, PhD
Miriam Cisternas, MA

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Indirect costs measure disease impact in terms of lost wages due to disability or death.  Indirect costs, like medical care costs, can be estimated and calculated in total for all the medical conditions an individual has, and as the increment attributable solely to musculoskeletal conditions.

Indirect cost for people age 18 to 64 with a work history add another $97.5 billion, or 0.5% of the GDP in between 2012 and 2014, to the cost for all persons with a musculoskeletal disease, either treated as a primary condition or in addition to another condition. Annual indirect costs attributable to musculoskeletal disease alone (incremental cost) account for an estimated $159.2 billion. Indirect costs attributable to musculoskeletal disease are greater than total indirect costs wage losses attributable to musculoskeletal conditions are greater than the mean difference in wages between the two groups, an indication that persons with musculoskeletal conditions work less than expected of persons their ages. (Reference Table 8.12 PDF CSV)


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