Monday, September 25, 2017

The Growing Cost of PTSD/TBI

Two year costs OF PTSD and TBI within the first two years the service member returns home (RAND Corporation Report: "Invisible Wounds of War"):

PTSD $5,904 to $10,298 depending on whether we count the lives lost to suicide; Two year costs for major depression, $15,461 - $25,757; co-morbid PTSD and major depression; $12,427 to $16,884; One year costs for traumatic brain injury diagnosis: $25,572 to $30,730 in 2005 for mild cases ($27,259 to $32,759 in 2007 dollars), and $252,251 to $383,221 for moderate or severe cases ($268,902 to $408,519 in 2007 dollars.)  These costs, largely treating symptoms, continue to have out-year costs and out-year consequences in terms of disability payments, inability to work, etc.

The report goes on: “Translating these cost estimates into a total-dollar figure is confounded by uncertainty about the total number of cases in a given year, [and] by the little information that is available about the severity of these cases. . . . [we] predict two-year costs for the approximately 1.6 million troops who have deployed since 2001. We estimate that PTSD-related and major depression–related costs could range from $4.0 to $6.2 billion over two years (in 2007 dollars). Applying the costs per case for TBI to the total number of diagnosed TBI cases identified as of June 2007 (2,726), we estimate that total costs incurred within the first year after diagnosis could range from $591 million to $910 million (in 2007 dollars)."

--RAND Report:  "Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery Tanielian, Terri; Jaycox, Lisa, April 2008, page xxii-xxiii.

 The “out-year consequences” include:


  • Emergency room treatments
  • Direct subsidies/welfare
  • Lost wages of relatives caring for wounded
  • Social support system
  • Psychological separation
  • Spousal and offspring abuse
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Homicide
  • Homelessness
  • Suicide
  • Litigation
  • Incarceration
  • Lost productivity
  • Primary care
  • Mental health care
  • Long-term care
  • Early death
  • Diminished/loss of capacity to work
  • Quality of life
  • Readiness, retraining and/or replacement
  • Drug therapy
  • Caregiver burden and their health-related illnesses brought on by THEIR depression



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