CDC: Excessive Alcohol Use Cost U.S. $224B in 2006
A new CDC study concludes that excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. $223.5 billion in 2006, or about $2 per drink. The study found that 72% of costs came from lost workplace productivity; 11% came from direct health care costs; 9% came from law enforcement expenses; and 6% came from motor vehicle accidents. In related news, CMS recently announced that Medicare will begin paying for annual screenings for alcohol misuse. For those who screen positive, up to four "brief, face-to-face" behavioral counseling interventions will be covered annually. The new services will be considered preventive services, which beneficiaries receive at no cost.
- "CDC: Excessive Drinking Works Out to Nearly $2 Per Alcoholic Beverage in Societal Costs" (AP/Washington Post, 10/17).
- "Medicare To Cover Alcohol, Depression Screening" (Walker, MedPage Today, 10/17).