Health care costs of veterans with multiple sclerosis: implications for the rehabilitation of MS. VA Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation Study Group

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993 Jan;74(1):26-31.


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 preventable with appropriate outpatient management. Improving selfcare and avoiding preventable hospitalizations might lower the considerable health care costs of MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Home Care Services / economics
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / economics*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States
  • Veterans*