Hidden healthcare cost behind untreated hearing loss
Untreated hearing loss comes with negative impacts with a host. To report a low quality of life with depression and deteriorating relationships with friends and family, the hearing loss puts a wide net. And now, a new study confirms that people with hearing loss are yet suffering another cost: higher medical bills and a high cost of hearing aids.
A new study made at the Medical University of South Carolina has taken into account the statistics of the Truven Health Market Scan Database, which is a national health service claim database, to see if there was a connection between hearing loss and the use of health care. The results were amazing.
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, compares the cost of healthcare for a large group of 562,000 privately-owned insurers between 55 and 64 years, both with and without hearing loss Of.
In addition to being in the same age range, the subjects were similar to the presence of jobs and chronic health conditions. The type of insurance coverage was the same; All subjects had private, low-deductible health insurance.
Researchers examined health care data such as patient costs, outpatient costs, prescriptions, and hearing care over a period of 18 months and found that people with hearing loss had much more medical bills than without hearing loss. How much is it? Overall, people with hearing loss had medical bills which were 33 percent higher than the loss of the hearing. People without hearing loss spent $ 10,629 in 18 months, while people with hearing loss spent $ 14,165 over this period.
Someone can understand that the difference lies in the cost of treatment of care only, but it is not. Yes, the cost of health care was higher for those who were hearing loss compared to those without any hearing loss, but those who spent the most on health were untreated with hearing loss.
Even keeping in mind the data for those who received hearing aid such as hearing aids, being treated for hearing impairment, much lower pay for health care than those people, Which had auditory impairments, but did not receive a hearing aid.
Study author Annie Simpson, assistant professor of healthcare leadership and management at the Medical University of South Carolina, believes that hearing loss puts patients in a disadvantage when it comes to medical care, Costs can be transformed.
In an e-mail to AARP, He has written that the difficulty of hearing can prevent patients from taking medical care due to the stress of trying to communicate with Medical Providers.
“But, avoiding or delaying the doctor may be a problem, resulting in the need for more care for infected patients. Due to hearing loss, a patient may have difficulty following follow-up care or medicines to follow the instructions of medical providers, which may lead to further health problems.
The South Carolina study is the first to “open the books” to look at the financial impact of hearing loss, but it is not the first to associate overall health with hearing loss. A study at Johns Hopkins found that for adults aged 70 and older, hearing loss was associated with a 54 percent increased risk of mortality.
“This discovery indicates that the negative health-related effects of hearing loss, a situation that many people consider simply an indispensable consequence of aging, can usually appear in comparison to the first and the continuation of care Can affect healthcare use, “said Simpson.
Researchers emphasize that further study is needed to understand the exact reasons behind high medical costs, and early adoption of hearing aids and other therapies can be affected in a long time. However, the results show that although hearing loss is expensive, earlier interventions can help in reducing those costs.
Ultimately, the consequences of untreated hearing loss from financial, physical or emotional perspectives are likely to be far worse than the cost of hearing loss. And in this study, the researchers noted an important fact: the rate of auditory loss between the ages of 50 and 60 years. There are no symptoms. You can not only reduce the cost of your healthcare in the long run, but you can also live a long, healthy and happy life.