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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Stroke Treatment

Stroke Treatment Cost


How Much Does Stroke Treatment Cost?

 
low costIschemic Stroke: $9,100 for Average 5.6-day Hospital Stayaverage costHemorrhagic Stroke: $19,500 for Average 8.4-day Hospital Stayhigh costAngioplasty and Stents: $11,000-$41,000+
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A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off or disrupted, causing brain cells to die. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and the extent to which the brain is damaged. Medical care depends on whether a patient is having an ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blocked artery, or a hemorrhagic stroke, in which a blood vessel ruptures.

Typical costs:

  • Treatment, if received quickly enough, can reduce the risk of disability or death. A patient experiencing a stroke will typically need to be taken to the emergency room at the first sign of symptoms[1] , or be transported there by ambulance.
  • For patients without health insurance, an emergency room visit typically costs $150-$3,000 or more, depending on the severity of the condition and the diagnostic tests and treatment performed. For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket cost for an emergency room visit typically consists of a copay, usually $50 -$150 or more, which often is waived if the patient is admitted to the hospital. Depending on the plan, costs might include coinsurance of 10%-50%.
  • According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality[2] , the average hospital admission for ischemic stroke is 5.6 days at $9,100 per stay, and for hemorrhagic stroke[3] it is 8.4 days at $19,500 per stay.
  • Ischemic stroke patients may be treated with a category of intravenous drugs known as thrombolytics[4] or clotbusters, which break up blood clots. According to a study[5] published in the medical journal Stroke, the additional costs of thrombolysis (using medication to break up and dissolve blood clots) during hospitalization is approximately $5,978 per patient. Doctors may also administer other drugs including intravenous or subcutaneous heparin. According to the book "Hospital Medicine"[6] , this can include Dalteparin (Fragmin)[7] , with a per-day cost of $51 for 100 U/kg administered twice daily and Enoxaparin (Lovenox)[8] , with a per-day cost of $55 for 1 mg/kg twice daily.
  • According to the American Stroke Association[9] the most promising treatment for ischemic stroke is the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator)[10] , given in the first three hours after the onset of symptoms. A 2011 study[11] found that the typical cost of treatment with tPA is $2,200.
  • Other possible procedures for ischemic stroke include treatment with angioplasty and stents ($11,000-$41,000). Or, doctors may mechanically grab and remove the clot by working small devices through a catheter. According to a 2011 study[12] , mechanical removal typically costs $7,718.
Related articles: Brain Surgery, MRI, CT Scan, Blood Tests, Emergency Room Visit, Ambulance

What should be included:
  • According to the Mayo Clinic[13] , to determine the most appropriate treatment and rule out other possible causes of symptoms, doctors will examine a patient using a physical exam, blood tests ($8-$150), a CT scan ($50-$1,000), or an MRI ($1000-$5000 or more), among other things.
  • The ischemic stroke treatment tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) is delivered through an intravenous (IV) line in the arm and must be administered within three hours from the onset of symptoms to work best.
  • According to the Mayo Clinic[14] treatment for hemorrhagic stroke patients usually involves bed rest once the bleeding has stopped.
Additional costs:
  • Heart attack patients who are anemic or have been given anti-platelet drugs may also need to receive transfusions of blood or blood products.
  • Some hemorrhagic stroke patients who experience bleeding over a large area may need surgery to relieve pressure on the brain.
Discounts:
  • Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% of more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital[15] 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 stroke treatment:
  • The National Stroke Association offers tools and resources[16] for stroke recovery and prevention.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a hospital comparison tool[17] that lists hospitals near a chosen zip code, how far away they are and whether they offer emergency service.
  • The American Heart Association offers information on clinical trials[18] for patients interested in participating in the search for advances in treatment.
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.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=symp
  2.  www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb51.pdf
  3.  www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb51.pdf
  4.  emedicine.medscape.com/article/1160840-overview
  5.  stroke.ahajournals.org/content/38/1/85.full.pdf
  6.  www.amazon.com/Hospital-Medicine-Wachter/dp/0781747279
  7.  www.rxlist.com/fragmin-drug.htm
  8.  www.rxlist.com/lovenox-drug.htm
  9.  strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/Treatment/Stroke-Treatments_UCM_310892_Arti...
  10.  www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahaecc-public/@wcm/@hcm/@gwtg/documents/downloadable/ucm_43115...
  11.  stroke.ahajournals.org/content/42/8/2257.abstract
  12.  www.ajnr.org/content/32/2/244.long
  13.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/stroke/DS00150/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis
  14.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/stroke/DS00150/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  15.  www.sjo.org/For-Patients/Your-Hospital-Bill/Self-Pay-Discount-Program.aspx
  16.  www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=stayinformed
  17.  www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/(S(efntd2saaeir2l5pgarwuvvg))/search.aspx?AspxAutoDete...
  18.  www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/A-Guide-to-Understanding-Clinical-Trials_UCM_426055_A...
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