The Sage Group

THE SAGE GROUP Estimates the Economic Cost of Critical Limb Ischemia Amputations at $25 Billion

ATLANTA, August 15, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) –At the opening session of the 4th annual Amputation Prevention Symposium (AMP) in Chicago, Mary L. Yost, President of THE SAGE GROUP, delivered a lecture titled “Cost of Amputation in 2014.”

According to Ms. Yost, “Approximately 65,000-75,000 major amputations (above-the-knee and below-the-knee) are performed annually for critical limb ischemia (CLI). These cost $11 billion with Medicare and Medicaid paying almost 80% 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 stated. “Frequent reamputation is one of the reasons the costs are so high. Annual reamputation rates for foot (28%) and toe (24%) amputations exceed those of major amputations.”

Elaborating on the costs and outcomes of amputation Yost continued, “CLI amputees experience high rates of hospitalizations and mortality, especially due to underlying cardiovascular disease. Amazingly, minor amputees experience these adverse events at the same rates as major amputees. For example, 3-year cardiovascular mortality is about 20% while all-cause mortality is 29% for both major and minor amputations.”

“Even $25 billion understates the costs of CLI amputations,” Ms. Yost explained. “This figure represents direct costs only, it does not include patient costs or the economic costs to society of lost productivity due to mortality. Patient costs are significant reflecting lost wages of the patient and family caregiver, copayments and deductibles as well as modifications for disabled living such as handrails, wheelchair ramps and wheelchair accessible transportation.”

Peripheral Artery disease (PAD) is characterized by a reduction of blood flow to the lower limbs due to atherosclerosis. In CLI, the most severe and deadly form of PAD, blood flow is so inadequate that rest pain, ulcerations or gangrene occur. Within 5 years, approximately 70% of CLI patients die. This mortality rate exceeds that of coronary artery disease, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

THE SAGE GROUP, a research and consulting company, specializes in atherosclerotic disease in the lower limbs, specifically PAD, CLI, ALI (Acute Limb Ischemia), diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) and amputation. The most recent research focuses on quantifying the economic and social costs of PAD, CLI and amputation.

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Mary Yost, 404-520-6652