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In 2016, the epidemic cost Medicare an estimated $6.4 billion, with private payers and the uninsured forking over a combined $6.3 billion. (Photo: Shutterstock)

As if the sheer human cost isn’t enough, the financial cost of the opioid epidemic cost the economy $95 billion in 2016. According to a new analysis from Altarum, $21.4 billion of that total was spent on treating patients who suffer from opioid abuse.

Quantifying the economic impact of the crisis, which in 2016 alone contributed to 53,054 overdose deaths, can sometimes hit harder and perhaps spur resolve among those who are a bit farther removed from the epidemic, as pointed out by Corey Rhyan, lead author of the report and senior analyst at Altarum, in a Modern Healthcare report.

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