THE SAGE GROUP, Atlanta, Georgia, a research and consulting company that specializes in atherosclerotic disease in the lower limbs, estimates the annual economic cost of amputations related to critical limb ischemia (CLI) at $25 billion. Mary L. Yost, president of THE SAGE GROUP, delivered a lecture titled “Cost of Amputation in 2014,” at the opening session of the fourth annual Amputation Prevention Symposium (AMP) in Chicago, Illinois, which was held August 14-16.
According to Yost, about 65,000-75,000 transfemoral and transtibial amputations are performed annually due to CLI and cost $11 billion with Medicare and Medicaid paying almost 80 percent of the bill.
“In addition to major amputations, 134,000 minor amputations (toe, foot, and partial foot) are performed annually for CLI. These add another $13.6 billion to the bill,” she said. “Frequent reamputation is one of the reasons the costs are so high. Annual reamputation rates for foot (28 percent) and toe (24 percent) amputations exceed those of major amputations.”
Adding to the economic impact, individuals who undergo CLI-related amputations experience high rates of hospitalizations and mortality, especially due to underlying cardiovascular disease, regardless of the degree of amputation. Further, there are economic costs to society due to lost productivity due to mortality, and patients incur significant costs related to their lost wages and those of the family caregiver, co-payments, and deductibles, as well as home and vehicle modifications for disabled living.
According to THE SAGE GROUP, in 2010, about 2.8 to 3.5 million people in the United States suffered from CLI.