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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment Cost


How Much Does Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment Cost?

 
average costDrug Therapy: $20-$900+high costSurgery: $10,000-$40,000
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Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a group of conditions, most often Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis, that are characterized by chronic inflammation and ulcers in all or part of the digestive tract. Though the exact cause[1] of IBD is still unknown, the conditions appear to result from the body's immune system somehow being triggered into setting off an inflammatory reaction in the digestive tract. IBD can be debilitating and in some cases may even cause malnutrition or potentially life-threatening complications[2] .

Typical costs:

  • Patients seeking medical care for IBD would start with an office visit to a primary care physician, which is typically covered by health insurance. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a copay of $10-$50 or more, or coinsurance of 10%-50% or more. For patients without health insurance, an office visit typically costs $50-$200 or more.
  • If drug therapy and lifestyle changes[3] fail, surgery may be recommended. Surgical procedures for IBD typically cost about $10,000 -$40,000. For example, one study[4] found that the average cost for proctocolectomy[5] ulcerative colitis surgery is $39,309.
  • For mild to severe cases, a doctor may prescribe one or more kinds of drugs to curb inflammation and manage symptoms, including aminosalicylates[6] , corticosteroids[7] , and immune system suppressors[8] . These medications can cost $20-$900 or more, depending on the type and dose of drug needed, and whether the medicine is available in generic form. For example, the generic version of the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine[9] costs $21; a suppository of Canasta[10] , a brand name version of the anti-inflammatory drug mesalamine[11] costs $583; and the immune system suppressor Infliximab (Remicade) costs about $900 for a 100 mg dose.
Related articles: Crohn's Disease Treatment, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment, Ulcerative Colitis Treatment, Colonoscopy, EGD, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • After an initial evaluation, a primary doctor will likely refer patients exhibiting symptoms[12] to a gastroenterologist for more detailed testing to rule out other possible conditions. This may include diagnostic exams[13] such as blood tests, colonoscopy or an X-ray of the abdominal area.
  • The goal of treatment[14] is to reduce inflammation, and anti-inflammatory medication, whether oral or topical, is typically the first line of therapy. If lifestyle changes[15] , drug therapy, or other treatments don't relieve IBD symptoms, surgery may be recommended.
  • According to emedicinehealth.com, surgical treatment[16] for people with IBD varies depending upon the disease. For instance, ulcerative colitis is surgically curable because the disease is limited to the colon. However, since Crohn's typically re-occurs near the reconnected tissue or elsewhere in the digestive tract, the benefits of surgery are usually temporary.
Additional costs:
  • Since IBD patients often have reduced bone density, either from decreased calcium absorption or as the result of using certain medications, a doctor may recommend taking a calcium supplement[17] . Calcium supplements typically cost between $4 and $25. For example 150 tablets of Caltrate[18] costs $14 for 150 tablets.
  • Because stress can aggravate symptoms, therapies that help patients manage negative emotions or reduce anxiety such as massage may help to prevent IBD conditions from worsening.
Discounts:
  • Outlets such as Costco[19] and Walmart[20] often sell prescription and over-the-counter drugs at significant savings. Walmart, for example, has a prescription drug program[21] that includes certain generic drugs at commonly prescribed dosages.
  • Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% of more to uninsured or cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital[22] in Orange, CA, for example, patients without health insurance may qualify for a 45% discount off billed charges. They'll also be offered an additional 10% discount if payment is made within 10 days of receiving a bill.
Shopping for inflammatory bowel disease treatment:
  • The Mayo Clinic offers a list of tips[23] to help IBD patients prepare for their next doctor's appointment.
  • Patients who do not respond to conventional drugs recommended for IBD may consider enrolling in a clinical trial[24] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.emedicinehealth.com/inflammatory_bowel_disease/page2_em.htm
  2.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease/DS01195/DSECTION=complications
  3.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease/DS01195/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-hom...
  4.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2791910/
  5.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007381.htm
  6.  www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/aminosalicylates-for-inflammatory-bowel-disease
  7.  www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/corticosteroids-for-inflammatory-bowel-...
  8.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/ulcerative-colitis/ds00598/dsection=treatments-and-drugs
  9.  www.uptodate.com/contents/sulfasalazine-and-5-aminosalicylates-in-the-treatment-of-infl...
  10.  www.drugs.com/mtm/canasa-rectal.html
  11.  www.bcbsnc.com/content/services/formulary/drug-search.htm
  12.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease/DS01195/DSECTION=symptoms
  13.  www.emedicinehealth.com/inflammatory_bowel_disease/page5_em.htm
  14.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease/DS01195/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  15.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease/DS01195/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-hom...
  16.  www.emedicinehealth.com/inflammatory_bowel_disease/page9_em.htm
  17.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/calcium-supplements/MY01540/NSECTIONGROUP=2
  18.  www.drugstore.com/default.asp?catid=1
  19.  www.costco.com/
  20.  www.walmart.com/cp/pharmacy/5431
  21.  www.walmart.com/cp/1078664
  22.  www.sjo.org/For-Patients/Your-Hospital-Bill/Self-Pay-Discount-Program.aspx
  23.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease/DS01195/DSECTION=preparing-for-you...
  24.  clinicaltrials.gov/ct/search?term=inflammatory+bowel+disease
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