St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A new study predicts Minnesota will experience rapidly rising costs associated with caring for people with chronic diseases. The Minnesota Department of Health is projecting those expenses will rise to $16.1 billion a year by 2023. That would be a 65-percent increase from the $9.8 billion bill from 2014.

Officials say the study was the first of its kind conducted by any state and analyzed an extensive state database of health insurance claims to determine the number of people treated for certain chronic conditions. The list included diabetes, hypertension, and dementia. It also forecasted how much it would cost to treat health conditions related to obesity, smoking exposure and other chronic conditions for Minnesotans over the age of 60.

The report shows total health care spending for all of the chronic conditions rose from 2009 to 2014, even though per person spending for diabetes, hypertension and dementia actually fell. The study did not look into the cause of the discrepancy, but state health officials say an increase in the number of people with health coverage due to the Affordable Care Act and initiatives that have led to lower rates of hospitalizations due to chronic conditions may have played a role.

The data will be used by the State Legislature in developing strategies for meeting the health needs of Minnesotans in the coming decade.

On a related topic, the Mayo Clinic recently released information about its financial performance in the 3rd quarter of this year.  Click here for the story.

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