The Role of the Pediatric Neurologist in Diagnosing and Managing Neurological Conditions in Children
Neurological conditions in children can change your life in an instant. You suddenly have a…
One of the challenges of having a chronic illness, such as epilepsy, is that the cost of treatment can be prohibitive. From diagnostic costs to medications and the routine visits necessary to ensure that you are on the proper medication protocol, costs add up quickly. For some people, this may mean delaying diagnosis and treatment. For others, it may mean stopping a successful treatment because of the cost. What makes it even more difficult is not knowing how much treatment should cost. Patients do not know if the charges they get are reasonable.
In a 2015 study, Begley and Durgin examined the cost to treat epilepsy. They looked at papers going as far back as 1995 to determine costs for treatment for the general epilepsy population and sub-populations, then converted those costs into 2013 U.S. dollars. What they found was that for general epilepsy populations, epilepsy-specific costs ranged from $1,022 to $19,749 per year. More recent studies show a range of $8,412 to $11,354. Patients with uncontrolled or refractory epilepsy have higher costs than other sub-populations. So do patients with co-morbidities.
Looking at those ranges, you may wonder about the variability. Part of it has to do with diagnosis. If you are a new patient with epilepsy, first year costs will include imagine, such as MRI or CAT scans, which can be very expensive. You may also have opted for a high-deductible insurance policy, which impacts out-of-pocket costs. Patients who get a surgery will generally experience a higher annual cost in the year of that surgery than patients who are only on a medication regime.
What do these costs mean for you, as a patient? We work with your insurance to help make sure that your treatment is covered. Our office staff understands the pre-approval process and works with insurers to make sure you are covered. We also provide the documentation some patients need to access other types of health care coverage that may be linked to any disabilities caused by the epilepsy.
We wish we could tell you that we could just waive the costs of treatment, but we cannot do that and stay in business. However, we do understand that the direct and indirect costs of epilepsy can be overwhelming. If you are having financial concerns about accessing treatment, please talk to our office staff about treatment payment options. We may be able to help you find a solution, so that you can access affordable, reliable care.