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Scleroderma Treatment Cost Cost


How Much Does Scleroderma Treatment Cost Cost?

 
low costWith Health Insurance: 10%-50% Coinsurance plus Copaysaverage costMedication, Without Insurance: $500-$12,000+ a Yearhigh costRelated Surgeries, Without Insurance: $20,000-$800,000+

Scleroderma is a connective tissue disorder that can be mild or serious and can affect the skin, joints and internal organs. It can cause a hardening of the skin. Scleroderma can be treated with medication.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for scleroderma treatment typically consist of doctor visit, lab and prescription drug copays of 10%-50%. Scleroderma treatment typically is covered by health insurance, although individual drugs or treatments might not be covered by some plans.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, scleroderma treatment can cost from less than $500 per year for treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or prednisone. It can cost up to $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year for treatment with immunosuppressant drugs. And it can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year for medication and monitoring if there is serious organ involvement and up to $800,000 if a lung transplant is required.
  • Prednisone typically costs less than $20 for a one-month supply. A one-month supply of the drug nifedipine, used to increase blood flow, can cost less than $100 per month, depending on dose. The brand-name immunosuppressant drug CellCept can cost $500 to $1,000 or more per month, depending on dose.
  • Patients on a scleroderma forum[1] report total costs of $12,000 or more for a round of treatments with the chemotherapy agent Cytoxan, which can improve lung function in patients with scleroderma.
  • Amputation can cost from $20,000 to $60,000 It might be required if a patient who has Raynaud's disease, which most scleroderma patients do, gets finger ulcers that develop gangrene.
  • A lung transplant, which might be required if the lungs are affected by scleroderma, resulting in high blood pressure of the lung arteries, can cost $500,000-$800,000.
Related articles: Blood Tests, CT Scan, Pulmonary Function Test, Echocardiogram, Physical Therapy, Lung Transplant

What should be included:
  • Doctors commonly prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or corticosteroids such as prednisone to treat pain and inflammation caused by scleroderma.
  • A doctor might prescribe an immunosuppressive medication such as mycophenolate mofetil[2] (brand name CellCept) or cyclophosphamide[3] . However, immunosuppressive drugs have not been thoroughly studied as treatment for scleroderma.
  • Medication also is used to address vascular problems that occur in scleroderma. The medication nifedipine[4] is used to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. Specific drugs prescribed depend on which organs, if any, are affected by scleroderma.
  • The Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center offers an overview of scleroderma medications[5] .
  • Most patients with scleroderma also have Raynaud's disease[6] , which can cause finger ulcers. If these ulcers become gangrenous, amputation might be required, according to information on scleroderma [7] from the Mayo Clinic. If a patient develops high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, a lung transplant might be required, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Additional costs:
  • Physical therapy, which is sometimes prescribed to improve strength and flexibility, can cost $50 to $350 per session.
Discounts:
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a low-cost clinic locator[8] by zip code. Some clinics offer care from specialists.
  • Sclero.org offers a list of clinical trials on scleroderma[9] .
Shopping for scleroderma treatment cost:
  • Patients with scleroderma should be treated by a rheumatologist[10] , a doctor who treats rheumatic diseases, which are complex conditions that can affect the joints, bones and organs. The American College of Rheumatology[11] offers a rheumatologist locator. A rheumatologist is an internal medicine doctor with additional training, and should be board-certified in rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine[12] .
  • If organs have been affected, the patient might need treatment from other specialists. A rheumatologist can provide a referral. Or, the American Medical Association offers a doctor finder[13] with the option to search by specialty.
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.inspire.com/groups/scleroderma-foundation/discussion/treatment-costs/
  2.  www.rxlist.com/cellcept-drug.htm
  3.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682080.html
  4.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a684028.html
  5.  www.hopkinsscleroderma.org/patients/scleroderma-treatment-options/
  6.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/raynaudsdisease.html
  7.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/scleroderma/DS00362/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  8.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  9.  www.sclero.org/medical/treatments/clinical-trials/current/a-to-z.html
  10.  www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/What_is_a_Rheumatologist_/
  11.  www.rheumatology.org/directory/geo.asp
  12.  www.abim.org/about/default.aspx
  13.  extapps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/disclaimer.do
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