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Managing Health More Important Than Minding Cost?

The most expensive types of care, on a per-person, annual basis? Gallbladder treatment ($4,721) and heart disease ($4,639), according to findings presented at this month's meeting of the Institute for Productivity Health and Management. On a cumulative basis, though, gallbladder slips to ninth and coronary artery disease sits atop the list — with almost three times the cumulative cost of the next most pricey group, gastrointestinal disorders.

IPHM analyzed claims from 61 large employers, to get industries to identify their specific cost drivers and plan disease management programs.

The group found discrepancies in illness prevalence across industries. In terms of aggregate claims, back problems were the ninth-most-costly disorder in the service industry, but third among government workers. Breast cancer, not in the top 10 in manufacturing, was the third-most-costly illness affecting retail workers.

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