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  

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  
CostHelper News


3 Ways to Have the Government Pay You Back for Your Energy Efficient Upgrades
Any renovations or upgrades made to your home this year that included energy-efficient appliances could be eligible for some federal energy tax credits. But it's not just appliances. || Posted December 9 2013


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

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
Cost of Comprehensive Treatment for 14 yr old
Paid: 6095.00
Consult & Records $225. Treatment, $5870, Ins. pays $1000, $974 down, $163 X 24 mos. Braces for 2 years, price includes two year while wearing braces and two additional years of follow up/maintenance... [more]
-TexasT
Braces Cost
declawing
Paid: 0.00
I had to have my Calico kittie declawed at 7 yrs old due to she was scratching everything but the scratching posts I had. She did fine..this was in 1994..so she was cut..no laser..she lived to be 18 years old with no behavior problems... [more]
-M.H.
Cat Declawing Cost
Price of 40 gal ELECTRIC hot water heater purchased at Lowes
Paid: 238.00
promised 2.5- 3 hrs. But, billed me at 3.5 x 85.00, plus cost of unit; so, $238 new Lowes Whirlpool, and $322 for labor/install= 560 total in Wilm NC to one bedroom condo, second floor... [more]
-daniel, rental condos
Replacing a Water Heater Cost
1st Tattoo
Paid: 0.00
I want a tattoo of 5 small birds and then "Forever in my Heart" under my left collarbone... [more]
-Cheyenne
Tattoo Cost
Molar Filling + Pulp Cap
Paid: 205.00
Cavity was almost to the root and would have required a root canal if I waited any longer. Paid $205 to a discount dentist (I qualified for 40% off since I am an adult on Medicaid)... [more]
-Beth in Reno
Cavity Filling Cost
Hernia Repair
Paid: 600.00
Repaired my umbilical hernia with 3 stitches. Tear was not large enough for a mesh. Total cost before insurance was about $6000. My out of pocket was around $600 since I hadn't met my deductible. Two days off work... [more]
-James_H
Hernia Repair Cost