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Trends and Projections in National United States Health Care Spending for Gastrointestinal Malignancies (1996–2030)
Gastroenterology  (IF22.682),  Pub Date : 2021-12-16, DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.12.244
Igor Stukalin, Newaz Shubidito Ahmed, Adam M. Fundytus, Alexander S. Qian, Stephanie Coward, Gilaad G. Kaplan, Robert J. Hilsden, Kelly W. Burak, Jeffrey K. Lee, Siddharth Singh, Christopher Ma

Background & Aims

The management of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers is associated with high health care spending. We estimated trends in United States (US) health care spending for patients with GI cancers between 1996 and 2016 and developed projections to 2030.


We used economic data, adjusted for inflation, developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations for the Disease Expenditure Project. Corresponding US age-adjusted prevalence of GI cancers was estimated from the Global Burden of Diseases Study. Prevalence-adjusted temporal trends in the US health care spending in patients with GI cancers, stratified by cancer site, age, and setting of care, were estimated using joinpoint regression, expressed as annual percentage change (APC) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Autoregressive integrated moving average models were used to project spending to 2030.


In 2016, total spending for GI cancers was primarily attributable to colorectal ($10.50 billion; 95% CI, $9.35–$11.70 billion) and pancreatic cancer ($2.55 billion; 95% CI, $2.23–$2.82 billion), and primarily for inpatient care (64.5%). Despite increased total spending, more recent per-patient spending for pancreatic (APC 2008–2016, −1.4%; 95% CI, −2.2% to −0.7%), gallbladder/biliary tract (APC 2010–2016, −4.3%; 95% CI, −4.8% to −3.8%), and gastric cancer (APC 2011–2016, −4.4%; 95% CI, −5.8% to −2.9%) decreased. Increasing price and intensity of care provision was the largest driver of higher expenditures. By 2030, it is projected more than $21 billion annually will be spent on GI cancer management.


Total spending for GI cancers in the US is substantial and projected to increase. Expenditures are primarily driven by inpatient care for colorectal cancer, although per-capita spending trends differ by GI cancer type.