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Pacemaker Cost

How Much Does a Pacemaker Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: 10%-20% Copayhigh costWithout Health Insurance: $19,000-$96,000+
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A pacemaker is a battery-operated device implanted or externally attached to the body to direct electrical impulses when needed to stimulate the heart to beat regularly and properly circulate blood. An implantable defibrillator[1] , a larger device with a pacemaker built in, is placed inside the body near the collar bone to monitor the heart rate and deliver a strong electrical shock restoring the heartbeat to normal if it has become too fast or too slow.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by insurance, a pacemaker and heart-assist implant can cost $19,000-$96,000 or more, depending on the type of pacemaker, the location and length of the hospital stay. For example, the Healthcare Bluebook[2] estimates a total price of $19,651 for patients in the Columbus, OH, area, including placement of the pacemaker, surgery, anesthesia and a five-day hospital stay.[3] estimates an average list price of $28,348 for the implant and procedure for patients in the western United States. Wisconsin PricePoint[4] , a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Hospital Association that collects healthcare price data, estimates the average costs of a defibrillator and heart assist implant in that state are about $96,000.
  • Pacemakers may be covered by Medicare or private health insurance. For patients with Medicare, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire estimates an out-of-pocket cost[5] of $2,604, including deductibles and coinsurance. Patients with private insurance could expect to pay[6] about $4,400.
Related articles: Heart Stent, Heart Rate Monitor, Cholesterol Test, Medicare, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • Placing a pacemaker is considered minor surgery, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute[7] . First, a doctor will numb the area where the pacemaker will go, then threat the wires through veins and into the correct location. He or she will then place the device through a small cut in the chest or abdomen and sew up the cut. The institute estimates the entire surgery takes a few hours.
  • This Mayo Clinic illustration[8] shows an implantable defibrillator once placed in the body, while this drawing[9] shows a pacemaker's positioning.
Additional costs:
  • Prices for pacemaker surgery can vary significantly based on whether the procedure is performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee[10] .
  • Extended hospital stays can add $20,000-$65,000 or more per day to the bill. Wisconsin PricePoint estimates the average daily hospital charge[11] in that state is $23,695, with an average hospital stay of about six days.
  • Some hospitals and orthopedic specialists offer discounts for uninsured/cash paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[12] in California offers a 35% discount for uninsured patients as well as a financial assistance program for qualifying uninsured patients.
Shopping for a pacemaker:
  • The Pacemaker Club has a variety of resources for patients receiving a pacemaker, including discussion boards and tips for finding physicians throughout the country.
  • A pacemaker cannot make a failing heart continue to beat, and about 20% of people with pacemakers experience painful shocks in the final weeks of their lives. The Heart Rhythm Society has information on end-of-life preparations.
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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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
looking for help to get a pacemaker
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: SoBrown in SAN DIEGO, CA.Posted: September 11th, 2012 01:09PM
Cardiologist: WilliamsMedical Center: Mercy/Scripps
I am a 51 yr old man, with a heart beating at only 10%. Heart disease runs in my family, my father,a sister, and my infant daughter all have passed on. My problem is because of my drug use, which I am slowly conquering, they will not consider me for a pacemaker...and I want to live...suggestions time is short....
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