Medical bills for medical staff have skyrocketed in recent months, with the number of bills at $17.5 billion.
The cost of medical care for US workers increased by more than 300 percent in the past year alone, according to a report released Monday by the nonprofit Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The total medical costs for US residents rose by 5.3 percent in 2017 from 2016, according the report.
The rise is due to a growing number of people who had previously been treated for opioid-related ailments, according research from the center.
The number of Americans with chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, increased from 3.6 million in 2016 to 6.6 percent in 2018, according.
The number of chronic conditions is now more than twice as high as the number with opioid-induced pain, according researchers.
For patients with chronic diseases, the cost of medications and other treatments is more than double what it was a decade ago.
“The costs of treating opioid-use disorders, which include opioid use disorder, is now in excess of $1,500 per person,” according to the report released by the center, which is an independent, nonprofit agency.
It’s a troubling trend, but the rise in costs is being driven by the growing number who are being treated for these illnesses.
It’s not uncommon for doctors to charge patients for treatment, according, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which administers Medicaid for the US.
The report cited the example of a nurse practitioner who charged $150 per appointment for a “treatment plan” that included the drug naloxone.
In 2017, the average cost of treating a patient with opioid use disorders in the US was $1.9 million, according Toppling the Costs, a website that tracks the cost trends in medical care.
The report, which examined Medicare and private health insurance coverage data, found that the median family income for Americans over age 65 rose from $46,000 in 2015 to $55,000 by 2017.
It also found that in 2017, one in four American adults was covered by private health care coverage and that nearly half of all adults lived in an area where access to health care was poor.
“These findings raise serious questions about whether the medical care delivery system is working as intended, and whether patients and their families are receiving adequate care,” Dr. Peter G. Fauci, chief medical officer of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said in a statement.
“The cost-shifting practices at some of our largest hospitals and clinics have led to a critical gap in care.”
The increase in the number and costs of medical bills has prompted some medical groups to urge hospitals and physicians to increase their efforts to treat patients.
The American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association issued a joint statement Monday urging hospitals to treat opioid-recovery conditions.
The AMA also called on health care providers to better communicate with patients about opioid use, and for states to consider better coordination of opioid treatment programs and the use of medications to treat pain.