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Diverticulitis Treatment Cost


How Much Does Diverticulitis Treatment Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $500-$50,000+
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Diverticulitis happens when pouches, known as diverticula, develop at weak points in the intestine, then become inflamed, often causing symptoms such as cramping, fever and chills. Treatment ranges from rest with a special diet to antibiotics to surgery. Risks of surgery can include reaction to anesthesia, infection, bleeding, injury to organs and, in some cases, failure to resolve symptoms. In some cases, surgery could result in a permanent colostomy.

Typical costs:

  • Treatment of diverticulitis typically is covered by health insurance. For patients covered by health insurance, typical out-of-pocket costs would include doctor visit copays, prescription drug copays, possibly a hospital copay and coinsurance of 10% to 50% for surgery, which could reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
  • For patients without health insurance, treatment for diverticulitis typically costs less than $500 for home care and oral antibiotics up to $50,000 or more for surgery. For example, at Drugstore.com, the antibiotic Cipro costs about $177 for 30 tablets and Flagyl typically costs about $180 for 30 tablets, while generic versions cost less than $20 for 30 tablets. If hospitalization with IV antibiotics is required, costs can reach $10,000 or more, depending on the length of the hospital stay. According to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality[1] , the average length of hospitalization for diverticulitis is about five days, with an average total cost of $8,300. If surgery is required -- usually in less than 20% of diverticulitis cases -- it typically costs about $30,000-$50,000 or more. For example, at Wright Medical Center[2] in Iowa, a partial colectomy costs about $28,400, including a doctor fee of about $3,700. At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center[3] , bowel surgery costs about $47,000 after the uninsured discount of 30%. Pali Momi Medical Center[4] in Hawaii charges about $33,000 for major intestinal surgery, but that could be reduced to about $19,900 for self-pay patients who pay within 30 days or $23,200 for payment within 90 days. And Straub Clinic & Hospital[5] in Hawaii would charge about $50,800 for intestinal surgery, but the amount could be reduced to about $30,500 for self-pay patients who pay within 30 days or $35,600 if they pay within 90 days. If complications occur after surgery, a longer hospitalization might be required, which can drive costs higher.
Related articles: Colonoscopy, CT Scan, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • In less complicated cases, the doctor might prescribe at-home treatment: a liquid diet for several days with antibiotics to heal the infection. This regimen typically is followed by a transition to low-fiber solid foods, then to a higher-fiber diet, which can help ease symptoms and promote colon health. The Mayo Clinic has a primer on diet and diverticulitis[6] .
  • If a patient has a painful diverticulitis attack with a serious infection, hospitalization with IV antibiotics is sometimes required.
  • In more serious cases, such as repeated, debilitating attacks or if an abscess or perforation is present, a doctor might recommend surgery. If there is an abscess, the doctor might first place a catheter to drain it and prescribe antibiotics. For surgery, the doctor will make one incision for open surgery, or several smaller ones for laparoscopic surgery, and will remove the inflamed portion of the intestine. The surgeon typically will then reconnect the intestine or perform a temporary colostomy[7] to allow the intestine to heal before it can be reconnected in another surgery six to 12 weeks later. A hospital stay of three to seven days usually is required, and full recovery takes up to two months.
  • The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse offers a guide to diverticulitis[8] . The Mayo Clinic has information on self-care[9] and treatments[10] .
Additional costs:
  • Doctors sometimes recommend a fiber product such as Metamucil[11] or Citrucel[12] , which typically cost about $10-$30.
  • If surgery is required, and if the surgeon performs a colostomy, colostomy bags and other supplies could cost up to several hundred dollars per month. For example, BestBuyOstomy.com[13] sells 10 bags for about $20, and sells 30 skin-protector flanges for about $45.
Discounts:
  • Many doctors and hospitals give discounts of up to 30%or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[14] in California offers a 35% discount.
Shopping for diverticulitis treatment:
  • A family doctor can provide a referral to a gastroenterologist. Or The American College of Gastroenterology offers a physician locator[15] . Make sure the gastroenterologist is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine[16] .
  • If surgery is required, the gastroenterologist can make a referral. Or, the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery offers a locator[17] for board-certified colon and rectal surgeons by city and state.
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.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb12.pdf
  2.  www.iowaspecialtyhospital.com/index.php?option=com_costestimator&Itemid=189
  3.  patients.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/billing_questions/out_of_pocket_estimator_dhmc.ht...
  4.  www.palimomi.org/my-hospital-bill/uninsured-calculator.aspx
  5.  www.straubhealth.org/sch/my-hospital-bill/uninsured-calculator.aspx
  6.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/diverticulitis-diet/my00736
  7.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002942.htm
  8.  digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticulosis/
  9.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/diverticulitis/DS00070/DSECTION=lifestyle%2Dand%2Dhome%2...
  10.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/diverticulitis/DS00070/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  11.  www.drugstore.com/medicine-and-health/fibers/qxg184252-0
  12.  www.drugstore.com/medicine-and-health/fibers/qxg184252-0
  13.  www.bestbuyostomy.com/ostomy_supplies_product_info
  14.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  15.  patients.gi.org/find-a-gastroenterologist/
  16.  www.abim.org/online/contact.aspx
  17.  www.abcrs.org/cgi-bin/search.pl
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