This study assesses prevalence of subsequent fractures during the year after incident osteoporosis-related non-vertebral fractures among privately insured and Medicare populations and compares costs between patients with and without subsequent fractures. Many non-vertebral fracture patients incur subsequent fractures, and those who do are significantly more costly during the year after incident fracture.
Introduction: To estimate the prevalence of subsequent osteoporosis-related non-vertebral (NV) fractures during the year following an incident NV fracture and compare costs between NV fracture patients with and without subsequent fractures.
Methods: Using insurance claims data (1999-2006), privately-insured (ages 18-64 years) and Medicare (ages 65+ years) patients with ≥1 subsequent osteoporosis-related NV fracture within a year of an incident osteoporosis-related NV fracture were matched to controls with incident NV fractures but no subsequent fractures. Subsequent fractures were identified as any claim for an NV fracture occurring >3 months after the incident NV fracture (>6 months were required for fractures occurring at the same site as the incident fracture). The study assessed prevalence of subsequent fractures and compared costs (from the payer's perspective) between patients with and without subsequent fractures over the year following an incident NV fracture.
Results: Among privately insured NV fracture patients, 14.1% had any subsequent NV fractures, 1.6% had subsequent hip fractures, and 13.0% had subsequent non-vertebral, non-hip (NVNH) fractures, while 22.6% of Medicare NV fracture patients had subsequent NV fractures, 9.4% had subsequent hip fractures, and 15.5% had subsequent NVNH fractures. Mean excess health care costs per privately insured subsequent fracture patient were $9,789 ($19,072 vs. $9,914, p < 0.01), while excess medical costs per Medicare subsequent fracture patient were $12,527 ($31,904 vs. $19,377, p < 0.01).
Conclusions: NV fracture patients are at substantial risk for subsequent NV fractures within 1 year, and patients who incur subsequent fractures are significantly more costly than those who do not during the year following an incident fracture.