Medical costs of CKD in the Medicare population
Estimates of the medical costs associated with different stages of CKD are needed to assess the economic benefits of interventions that slow the progression of kidney disease. We combined laboratory data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with expenditure data from Medicare claims to estimate the Medicare program’s annual costs that were attributable to CKD stage 1–4. The Medicare costs for persons who have stage 1 kidney disease were not significantly different from zero. Per person annual Medicare expenses attributable to CKD were $1700 for stage 2, $3500 for stage 3, and $12,700 for stage 4, adjusted to 2010 dollars. Our findings suggest that the medical costs attributable to CKD are substantial among Medicare beneficiaries, even during the early stages; moreover, costs increase as disease severity worsens. These cost estimates may facilitate the assessment of the net economic benefits of interventions that prevent or slow the progression of CKD.