A Cost Model for Neurological Diseases in Puerto Rico: Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease

Nicole J. Ortiz, Mayra Méndez, Gabriela Avilés, César Román, Paula Narváez-Cordero, Elizmarie Valdés, Mauricio Cabrera-Ríos, Clara E. Isaza


Objective: This article proposes an engineering-economics model to determine the total cost of a neurological disease along its temporal progression. The objective was to develop a planning tool faithful to the reality of this type of ailment as well as to that of Puerto Rico (PR). Methods: The proposed model organizes a given neurological disease into 3 progressive phases of deterioration; in each, the model collects the typical associated costs and adjusts them based on their value over time. This way, the total cost of the ailment is calculated and its present day dollar value expressed. Model verification was carried out using data from Puerto Rico related to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Results: The method demonstrated here considered Parkinson’s disease in PR. Our model calculated a total annual cost of $64,915 for a patient at the medium stage. This figure is larger than estimates from other authors, which fall between $41,689 and $51,600 for the USA. This difference is partially due to the proposed model considering the individual’s opportunity cost of the loss of productive years, an original contribution of our work. Conclusion: A neurological disease is one in which an individual goes through progressive phases of deterioration that will require significant economic resources. The model proposed here is designed across the commonalities between Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases and illustrated using costs from PR. As an additional contribution, it allows the consideration of the opportunity cost of lost productivity, a characteristic that makes it more realistic.


Cost Model; Neurological Diseases; Financial Planning; Parkinson´s Disease; Alzheimer´s Disease: Huntington’s Disease

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