The Spanish National Health System (NHS) covers non-work-related diseases. The Social Security system, mainly through collaborating insurance companies, covers both medical and wage-related costs of occupational diseases; however, the actual exchange of resources has not been well studied until now. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic cost of medical care generated by a series of confirmed cases of occupational disease (OD) treated at Parc Salut Mar (PSMAR) in Barcelona, an NHS health system.Methods
Economic study of 40 cases of suspected OD by the PSMAR Occupational Disease Unit (ODU). Between 2010 and 2014, information on the care received (stays, visits, emergencies, diagnostic tests, medical and surgical treatments, etc.) was independently reviewed by three experts, and discrepancies resolved by one of them. The economic value of the care received in relation to the underlying suspected OD was expressed in terms of actual cost and billing rate, according to age, sex, diagnostic group and type of care received.Results
The total cost of the 40 cases was 181,072.3€ and the average cost per case was 4,526.8€. Cancer accounted for 84% of all cases. Men accounted for 93% of the total cost and those over 65 years were 76% of the total. The amount billed for the 40 cases was 146,964.6€.Conclusions
This study provides precise economic information that must be considered in the coordination needed between the NHS and the Social Security, which should significantly contribute to the reporting of ODs and their prevention.