Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation Cost


How Much Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copay or 20% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $15,000-$50,000+
post E-mail post Post   Comments (10)

Spinal cord simulation[1] is a treatment in which a low-voltage electrical current, emitted by a small generator implanted in the back, is used to disrupt nerve impulses and block feelings of pain. It may be recommended for some patients who have had nerve-related pain, failed back surgery, or complex pain syndromes, among other conditions. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons[2] as many as 50,000 neurostimulators are implanted worldwide every year.

Typical costs:

  • For uninsured patients, typical out-of-pocket costs for spinal cord stimulation are $15,000 - $50,000 or more. According to a study[3] funded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, average total medical costs of implanting a SCS system range from $19,246 - $47,190 per patient. Another study[4] published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine finds the costs per patient to be $32,882 under Medicare and $57,896 under Blue Cross Blue Shield , with annual maintenance per patient of $5,071- $21,390, depending on whether complications are present.
  • Spinal Cord stimulation is typically covered by health insurers, but may be restricted to the treatment of specified conditions. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan[5] only considers it a useful therapeutic option for severe, chronic pain of the trunk or limbs that has been unresponsive to conventional treatments, or for certain patients with chronic refractory angina pectoris.
  • For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a copay or coinsurance of 20% or more.
Related articles: Back Surgery, Broken Back, Cortisone Injection, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • A doctor will first try inserting a trial stimulator[6] through the skin for a few days or weeks; if it is successful, he or she will then implant a permanent stimulator. The stimulator is typically implanted under the skin of the abdomen or near the buttocks.
  • Most patients go home the same day they receive their permanent implant. Before being released, the patient will receive instructions on caring for the incision area and using the SCS device.
  • The Mayfield clinic, one of the largest neurosurgical practices in the world, based in Cincinnati, OH, offers a detailed explanation[7] of the procedure.
Additional costs:
  • A spinal cord stimulator battery must typically be replaced every 2 to 5 years.
  • Post surgery, pain will be managed with narcotic medications for a short period, which may cause constipation and require laxatives. Over-the-counter laxatives and stool softeners typically cost $2 -$25 depending on the brand and amount. For example, Nature's Way - Psyllium Husks Herbal Laxative VCaps [8] cost $6 at drugstore.com.
Discounts:
  • Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital[9] 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.
  • Some free clinics, such as Community Health Free Clinic[10] in Chicago, provide orthopedic or neurological specialty care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[11] posts a directory of federally funded health centers; if the nearest clinic doesn't offer orthopedic care, ask for a referral.
Shopping for spinal cord stimulation:
  • Healthwise offers a checklist of questions patients can ask doctors[12] while considering the procedure.
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.
 
post E-mail post Post   Comments (10)
CostHelper News


Top 7 Ways to Trim Pet Expenses
Pets, for many, are part of the family; another member that needs love, feeding and treatment, just like anyone else in the household. || Posted September 18 2013


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
NEVRO HF-10 - Best thing ever
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Mike R in Chapel Hill, NC.Posted: March 20th, 2017 08:03AM
Type of Treatment: Spinal Cord Stimulator - NEVROProvider: UNC Healthcare, North Carolina
I was injured in Iraq in 2008 and my lumbar spine had finally degenerated to the point that it was time for an SCS. Did LOTS of research and picked NEVRO over MedTronic and Boston Scientific because of the amazing HF-10 frequency (no buzzing sensation). Had trial done a month ago, 75% reduction on day one. Had permanent done last Friday. Covered 100% by Tri Care, authorization approved in 3 days. Could not be happier.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Nevro HF-10 Therapy - It WORKS!!
Amount: $25.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: AnnKay in Kansas City, MO.Posted: February 13th, 2017 02:02PM
Type of Treatment: SCSProvider: Nevro
I had the Nevro HF-10 permanent implant placed on 1/25/2017. It is a God-send! I've been in constant back and leg pain for 7 years. I had a laminectomy in 2012. This thing has given me my mobility back! I was planning to retire early. I won't need to now. I'm only 47 years old and thought I'd be out of the workforce by 55. If you have a chance, and good insurance, GET IT! Total cost: $79,287.91. Insurance covered most of it. My co-pay was $25.00 out of pocket. Obviously I have AMAZING insurance. Good luck.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Installed but quit working 3 times causing me to have surgery 4 times.
Amount: $4,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Joyce Wilson in Tuscon, IA.Posted: January 10th, 2017 11:01AM
Type of Treatment: for RSD in left handProvider: Tuscon, AZ Neurology
I no longer have information on the first installation but leads broke 3 times and had to have surgery that many times and it isn't operating now so I'm wondering if medicare would pay to have it removed as it is giving me a lot of pain in my back and I already have a lot of pain I'm suffering from and I'm 87 yrs old.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
aetna says no pre authorizing needed then denies payment
Amount: $160,561.02 not covered by insurance
Posted by: wsg in pittsburgh, PA.Posted: October 28th, 2016 11:10AM
Type of Treatment: neuro stimulatorProvider: upmc
I've been in pain since 2007the dr. have tried everything to help. The pain is in my neck and head I was a coal miner for 20 years after trying everything that was recommended and taken enough pain meds.that you can think of. it was recommended that I try a stimulator first I had to see a shrink to make sure I knew that it might not cure me 100% the test went great the pain level dropped 75% then I had the stimulator installed it was a godsend I could function again then Aetna decided that it was experimental and they denied payment after they said that NO PRE AUTHORIZING was needed. I'm on disability and have don't the funds to pay. now I'm severely depressed this is causing me more health problems then the pain I had I don't know what to do.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
SPS
Amount: $3.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: harper55 in Scottsdale, AZ.Posted: September 30th, 2016 03:09PM
Type of Treatment: Provider: Scottsdale
I've recently had the SCS implant. To date, no relief yet. Had excellent relief with the trial. Dr. thinks the wires have slipped. Am having X-rays to verify.
Insurance hasn't paid for my procedure to date.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
great pain reducer
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: pootycvat in Baltimore, MD.Posted: August 15th, 2016 06:08AM
Type of Treatment: spinal stimpulaterProvider: Dr Charles Park
Dr Charles Park in Baltimore Md installed mine ,Been six years now and I don't need a battery as of yet thank the Lord because workman Comp paid for the first install Medicare may not cover the rest
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Neuro Spinal Cord Stimulator
Amount: $199,990.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Geoff Ward in Seattle, WA.Posted: December 28th, 2014 11:12PM
Type of Treatment: to treat and manage painProvider: Swedish hospital Dr Gwynn
The form up above says that the total amount not covered by Insurance. Mine hasnt said they would cover me yet,,, so once I get a EOB thats the cost. I have recently had a spinal cord stimulator implanted on the 15th of dec. The best decision I have ever made. I woke up from sergery and the pains were significantly decreased! THe wellness my body is feeling is something I havent felt this great in over 7 years...... please ask me questions. I will be happy to help and explain things. I must keep an even report, I ahve been tired for the last 10 days. but I am attributing it to rebuilding my stamina and core .......... More to come later. Good Luck with yours. if you need to talk, PM me.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Excellent outcome, spinal cord stimulation Oct. 2014
Amount: $2,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Charles Fisk in Fairfax, VA.Posted: December 24th, 2014 10:12AM
Type of Treatment: Spinal cord stimulator, medtrronicProvider: Fairfax Hospital
The key to a successful outcome is to shop and interview several neuro surgeons. I saw three before deciding on the one I used. I also insisted on a face to face meeting with the Medtronic rep before surgery. The rep can make or break the success of the implant. One Medtronic rep lied outright to me and call my surgeon a fool. After calling Medtronic executive offices he was terminated.
I guess the replacement rep heard about my calls and has gone out of his way to be available to me when needed. I should not have had to go that route but have learned that the so called reps are basically commissioned sale people with quotas and push the doctors to do implant surgery so you MUST find an ethical doctor. I suggest large University teaching hospitals where you usually find the top physicians. Medtronic is in it for the money so you need a surgeon who will place his/her patients above fees. I am pleased with the implant and am getting my back to a life not dictated by pain
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
crazy bill
Amount: $319,548.91 not covered by insurance
Posted by: a user in warwick, NY.Posted: November 14th, 2014 10:11AM
Type of Treatment: scsProvider: workers comp
I got two bills for $39548.92 they are out of there minds I am going to call news channels to let them know what they are trying to do. They must be smoking crack.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
medicare won't cover my stimulator
Amount: $10,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: baley in saint paul, MN.Posted: September 4th, 2014 11:09AM
I was told b4 I was going to have one that medicare doesn't cover it so I decided agnst it because of cost
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With Spinal Cord Stimulation
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * not covered by insurance
Type of Treatment: Provider: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.webmd.com/back-pain/spinal-cord-stimulation-for-low-back-pain
  2.  www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Spinal%20Cord%20Stimul...
  3.  www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Files/OMD/finalReportSCS.pdf
  4.  thejns.org/doi/abs/10.3171/2009.2.SPINE0865
  5.  www.bcbsm.com/mprApp/MedicalPolicyDocument?fileId=91845
  6.  www.spinedallas.com/trials-spinal-cord-interventional-spine-pain-doctor-dallas-tx.html
  7.  www.mayfieldclinic.com/PE-STIM.htm
  8.  www.drugstore.com/natures-way-psyllium-husks-herbal-laxative-vcaps/qxp31549?catid=47608...
  9.  www.sjo.org/For-Patients/Your-Hospital-Bill/Self-Pay-Discount-Program.aspx
  10.  www.communityhfc.org/referals.htm
  11.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  12.  www.sanfordhealth.org/Content/HealthInformation/HealthWise/media/pdf/hw/form_zm2258.pdf
More Health & Personal Care Topics
Check Out All Costs for Health & Personal Care How Much Does a Flu Shot Cost? How Much Does Teeth Cleaning Cost? How Much Does an Ambulance Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 
Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Outrageous Expense
Paid: 79000.00
1 hour and 20 minute flight from a hospital who is in my plan to a hospital that is in my plan and both have medflight helicopters... [more]
-Youare KiddingMe
Air Ambulance Cost
Family friend's wedding
Paid: 710.00
1 bridal bouquet/1 toss bouquet, 2 MOH bouquets, 1 jr bride bouquet, 5 bride maids bouquets, 2 wrist corsages, 2 flower girl baskets, 1 ring bearer pillow and supplies for 19 centerpieces (11 tall pilsner vases with approximately 20 flowers... [more]
-Mrs. Murray
Wedding Flowers Cost
Ignition coil
Paid: 46.00
Bought at O'Riley auto parts. Watched YouTube video.Removed 2 screws it sits on top of engine. Replaced coil and bad spark plug... [more]
-James Smith01
Ignition Coil Replacement Cost
Concussion
Paid: 7459.00
Hit my head hard and had speech deficit and blurry/double vision. Urgent care advised I go to Emergency because they had MRI. I was able to understand what I was told, but really having difficulty finding words and talking... [more]
-KS
Emergency Room Visit Cost
Cat declawing just front know anywhere that isn't outrageously priced??
Paid: 0.00
Need to have my 2 yr old cat declawed. Unfortunately where I live they are now making it mandatory. My vet I currently use wants over $450. I really can't afford that. I'm currently dealing with medical issues myself and getting chemo etc... [more]
-Livey
Cat Declawing Cost
Pricing--alterations/custom
Paid: 0.00
I have to chuckle over the comments about pricing. Custom dresses should not cost less than ready to wear (unless you are buying the label/shop name). The things I try to remind brides of are: 1. I make your pattern for you alone... [more]
-smsivulabydesign
Wedding Dress Alterations Cost