The days of cost effective management for nephrolithiasis are already upon us
Nephrolithiasis prevalence rates continue to rise globally and have nearly doubled within the United States over the last few decades. At the same time, health care costs have risen within the United States at an alarming rate. The economic burden of nephrolithiasis is estimated at greater than $5 billion annually. This estimate is based on direct cost related to healthcare delivery and indirect factors such as loss of productivity/work. Interestingly, medical expulsion therapy (MET) has been found to be more cost effective for ureteral stones than early endoscopic intervention, even when including increased emergency room visits for MET. A variety of medical and surgical options exist for symptomatic nephrolithiasis treatment.