Chronic Disease / Cost of Illness

The Lewin Group offers expertise in studying the costs, prevalence, impacts, and trends of chronic diseases.

Chronic diseases place an economic burden on the U.S. economy in excess of $1 trillion annually* and affect health care costs, employee productivity, school attendance, and more. An important initial step toward reducing the cost of disease is to understand the magnitude and extent of the costs themselves. Only then can health care, prevention, and research resources be allocated efficiently.

The Lewin Group has studied the prevalence and cost of many chronic and acute diseases, and are experts in cost estimation methods and data sources. We provide information on both the direct medical costs of disease and the indirect costs of illness in terms of lost productivity. We have also helped clients assess and improve the effectiveness of their chronic disease prevention and management programs.


We provide a variety of services including disease cost modeling, evidence-based protocols and best practices, disease and case management methods, experiment and demonstration design, and program evaluation.

Strategy Development
  • Provide environmental scan to identify trends
  • Perform policy analysis and statistical modeling
  • Develop strategies to fortify insurance and provider networks
Program Evaluation
  • Study program design and financial models
  • Review literature, surveys, census, and claims data to analyze program efficacy
  • Design experiments and demonstrations
  • Analyze effective and cost-effective disease management programs
  • Conduct evaluation and estimate effects of interventions
Analysis of Disease Cost
  • Estimate prevalence of disease
  • Estimate direct medical cost of disease
  • Estimate cost of foregone productivity due to disease
  • Examine policies regarding medication pricing

*Ross DeVol, Armen Bedroussian, et al., “An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Diseases — Charting a New Course to Save Lives and Increase Productivity and Economic Growth," Milken Institute, October 2007

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 See all Chronic Disease / Cost of Illness publications


Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2007

Diabetes mellitus is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes also contributes to higher rates of morbidity — people with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, extremity amputations, and other chronic conditions.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) hired The Lewin Group to study the economic toll of diabetes. As an update to our 2003 study, The Lewin Group estimated the national economic burden of diabetes at $174 billion in 2007. This consists of approximately $116 billion in additional health care expenditures attributed to diabetes, and $58 billion in lost productivity from absenteeism, reduced productivity, permanent disability, and premature mortality. Highlights include:

  • Diabetes cost calculator that provides prevalence and cost estimates
  • Assessment of continued growth in diabetes prevalence
  • Analysis of changing practices, technology, and cost to treat people with diabetes
  • Improvements in data sources and methods to estimate economic and social burden

"Throughout the engagement, Lewin consultants listened to us and delivered superb analyses and thoughtful guidance — not canned solutions."