The Most Expensive Medical Problems

By: Bel Marra Health | General Health | Monday, September 03, 2012 - 01:25 AM

 treatmentHealth costs put a strain on both patients who don’t have insurance coverage and on the medical system. Some ailments can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat. Here’s a look at the most expensive medical problems today.

A chronic condition is any mental or physical ailment that requires long term medical monitoring and care to help control symptoms. These conditions are twice as costly as treatment for other health issues because people who suffer from chronic conditions usually have other health problems. The U.S Department of Health and Human Service indicates the following are among the most expensive chronic medical problems:

•              Heart disease

•              Asthma

•              Hypertension

•              Mood disorders

•              Diabetes

All of us will be touched by cancer in some way, at some point in our lives. Perhaps you know someone who is going through cancer treatment right now, maybe you have lost someone to the disease or have had your own cancer scare. Since the disease is so prevalent you might think it is the most expensive medical problem of all. According to a study conducted by U.S biotechnology firm, Genentech, while cancer ranks high, respiratory problems are even more expensive.  If breathing is an issue and you end up needing a ventilator for example, it will likely cost over 3-hundred thousand dollars. Keep in mind that thousands of dollars would have been spent on your breathing ailment and medical condition leading up to the use of a ventilator as well. In comparison, the average cost for cancer treatment is around 50-thousand.

Here are some of the other expensive medical problems outlined in the Genentech research and how much treatment would cost on a per-patient basis.

•              Renal Disease $170,000

•              Premature baby $100,000

•              Heart Attack $ 72,000

•              Stroke $60,000

•              Transplant $50,000

Some U.S medical studies suggest that car accidents are huge contributors to overall medical costs. Injuries can be very bad and require several surgeries, special treatment, and lengthy rehabilitation. If bleeding is a major issue, transfusions are required. Bleeding from accidents can require red blood cell transfusions of 50 pints or more.

Bleeding is a word associated with another expensive medical problem; hemophilia. This is a disease that causes the blood to clot more slowly. The major danger for sufferers is uncontrolled internal bleeding. The average yearly cost to treat hemophilia is anywhere from 40 to 60 thousand. Some patients experience complications and the costs rise to well over one-hundred thousand dollars.

Mental Health

Statistics indicate that around 25 per cent of Americans have a mental health problem. According to the National Institute of Mental Health; the agency for healthcare research, the cost of mental health care in the U.S is about 60 billion dollars per year. Unlike many other ailments, the economic burden isn’t just for direct care; it can be attributed to loss of income due to unemployment, expenses to social supports, and indirect costs due to chronic disability.

In the United States, the Office of Disease Prevention was established to stimulate research and promote better health to improve people’s lives, as well as help cut down on expenses. Living a healthy life-style is the first step you can take to ward off painful and expensive health problems.


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