A previous analysis using the Canadian Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Community Survey data identified that there were individuals with a high number of secondary health conditions, high health care utilization, poor health outcomes, and unmet health care needs.
The objectives of this study were to estimate the annual health care costs of persons with SCI who report secondary health conditions, and to determine the association between these secondary health conditions with health care utilization and self-reported life satisfaction and quality of life.
The survey respondents were divided into four groups: traumatic SCI (tSCI; those who said they received needed care and those who said they did not) and nontraumatic SCI (ntSCI; those who said they received needed care and those who said they did not). The average annual health care costs per respondent were estimated for each group. Using regression analysis, we estimated the change in average annual health care costs that were associated with an additional secondary health condition for respondents in each group.
Participants who reported not receiving needed care had on average 23% more secondary health conditions than those receiving needed care. The increase in average annual health care costs associated with one additional secondary health conditions was between $428 ($37-$820) (ntSCI, receiving needed care) and $1240 ($739-$1741) (tSCI, not receiving needed care).
This study provides insight into potential cost savings associated with a reduction of secondary health conditions as well as an estimate of the reduction in health care costs associated with moving from not receiving all needed care to receiving needed care.