Mortality and costs associated with alcoholic hepatitis: A claims analysis of a commercially insured population

Julie A. Thompson, Noel Martinson, Melissa Martinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Rising mortality in the United States due to alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and the dearth of effective treatments for ALD have led to increased research in this area, particularly in alcoholic hepatitis. To understand the burden of illness and potential economic value of effective treatments, we conducted a health care claims analysis of over 15,000 commercially insured adults who were hospitalized with alcoholic hepatitis (AH) between 2006 and 2013 and followed for up to 5 years. Their average age was 54 years and 68% were male. Over 5 years, about two-thirds of these adults died (44% in the first year), and fewer than 500 received liver transplants. There were nearly 40,000 re-hospitalizations, with over 50% of the survivors re-hospitalized within a year and nearly 75% through the second year. The total costs were nearly $145,000 per patient, with costs decreasing over time from over $50,000 in the first year (including the index hospitalization) to about $10,000 per year in the later years. Total costs for the cohort over 5 years were $2.2 billion. Patients who received a liver transplant averaged about $300,000 in transplant-related costs and over $1,000,000 in total health care costs over 5 years. Average costs in years following the index hospitalization were similar to diabetes. AH has a high mortality and is a high-cost condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors


  • Acute alcoholic hepatitis
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Claims analysis
  • Cost analysis
  • Mortality analysis


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