Health care expenditures for adults with multiple treated chronic conditions: estimates from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2009

Prev Chronic Dis. 2013 Apr 25;10:E63. doi: 10.5888/pcd10.120172.


The objective of this article is to illustrate the usefulness of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data for examining variations in medical expenditures for people with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). We analyzed 2009 MEPS data to produce estimates of treated prevalence for MCC and associated medical expenditures for adults in the US civilian noninstitutionalized population (sample = 24,870). We also identified the most common dyad and triad combinations of treated conditions. Approximately one-quarter of civilian US adults were treated for MCCs in 2009; 18.3% were treated for 2 to 3 conditions and 7% were treated for 4 or more conditions. The proportion of adults treated for MCC increased with age. White non-Hispanic adults were most likely and Hispanic and Asian adults were least likely to be treated for MCC. Health care expenditures increased as the number of chronic conditions treated increased. Regardless of age or sex, hypertension and hyperlipidemia was the most common dyad among adults treated for MCC; diabetes in conjunction with these 2 conditions was a common triad. MEPS has the capacity to produce national estimates of health care expenditures associated with MCC. MEPS data in conjunction with data from other US Department of Health and Human Services sources provide information that can inform policies addressing the complex issue of MCC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Social Support*