Health care costs of veterans with multiple sclerosis: Implications for the rehabilitation of MS

Dennis N. Bourdette, Allan V. Prochazka, Wayne Mitchell, Pat Licari, Jack Burks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Scopus citations


We retrospectively determined health care costs among veterans with multiple sclerosis (MS) and correlated the costs with neurologic dysfunction. Total health care costs for the 165 patients averaged $35,000/year. VA benefits and homecare together accounted for 85% of the total costs. Total health care costs correlated with two measures of neurologic dysfunction, the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) (r = 0.61, p < 0.001) and the Incapacity Status Scale (ISS) (r = 0.64, p < 0.001). The costs of VA benefits, homecare, and hospitalizations also correlated with the EDSS, ISS, and other measures of neurologic dysfunction whereas the cost of outpatient clinic visits did not. In a period of three years, there were 40 hospitalizations, at a total cost of $412,800, that were potentially preventible with appropriate outpatient management. Improving selfcare and avoiding preventible hospitalizations might lower the considerable health care costs of MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993



  • Handicapped
  • Health services research
  • Hospitals
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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