The all-cause cost of critical limb ischemia (CLI) exceeds $200 billion, a new analysis published by THE SAGE GROUP concludes.

“CLI is an extremely expensive disease,” states Mary L. Yost, President of THE SAGE GROUP. “Inpatient hospitalizations account for the majority of costs with Medicare paying 73% of the bill.”

“Treatment with major amputation is one well-known factor that increases CLI costs,” Yost adds, in a media release.

“Amazingly, revascularization is underutilized in CLI patients. Between 25%-33% of CLI patients are treated with primary amputation, which is more expensive than revascularization.

“The higher hospital costs of major amputation reflect more frequent and expensive complications, increased in-hospital mortality and more revision procedures,” she stated.

“However, there are many other factors that drive up CLI costs,” she continues. “Most of these, including amputation, are either modifiable or preventable.”

“Costs increase with disease severity,” Yost notes, “Rutherford 6 patients with gangrene incur higher costs than Rutherford 4 and 5 with rest pain and ulcers, respectively. CLI treatment costs more than intermittent claudication (IC).”

“CLI-specific treatments are not the only factor increasing spending, cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes and related hospitalizations add significantly to the economic burden,” Yost explains. “So does diabetes and diabetic hospitalizations.”

“Despite a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes are suboptimally managed in CLI patients. This increases morbidity and mortality as well as costs.

“The tragedy is that earlier diagnosis of CLI and appropriate treatment, could save lives and limbs, as well as a tremendous amount of money,” Yost concludes.

CLI, or ‘end-stage’ peripheral artery disease (PAD), is characterized by rest pain, ulcers and gangrene.

For more information, visit THE SAGE GROUP.

[Source(s): THE SAGE GROUP, Business Wire]