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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dermatology & Skin Care > Staph Infection Treatment

Staph Infection Treatment Cost


How Much Does Staph Infection Treatment Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $20-$25,000+

A staph infection is a bacterial infection, usually of the skin, that can enter the bloodstream and cause serious or fatal complications. It typically causes a red, sometimes painful, boil on the skin and, if it enters the blood, can cause a fever and low blood pressure.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for staph infection treatment typically consist of an over-the-counter medication or a prescription drug copay[1] of $10-$85 or more -- depending on whether the drug is generic, preferred or non-preferred -- a doctor visit copay of $5-$30 or more and possibly a hospital copay or coinsurance of 10%-50%. Staph infection treatment typically is covered by health insurance.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, staph infection treatment can cost less than $20 for a minor skin infection that requires over-the-counter antibiotic cream or a prescription antibiotic and up to $200 or more for recurring skin infections that require months of treatment with a prescription cream. It can cost $1,000 or more for outpatient administration of IV antibiotics for a more serious or antibiotic-resistant infection. And it can cost more than $6,000-$25,000 or more for a serious systemic infection that requires hospitalization and IV antibiotics -- and up to almost $200,000 or more if there are major complications such as organ failure.
  • For example, Drugstore.com charges less than $10 for over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment[2] . It charges less than $20 for a course of oral amoxicillin or cephalexin. It charges about $100 for three tubes of generic mupirocin prescription ointment, or almost $220 for the brand-name equivalent Bactroban, which is sometimes used over a period of months to treat recurring skin infections. Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[3] in Nebraska charges $200 to almost $400 to administer a round of IV antibiotics, and this could total several thousand dollars for multiple rounds of treatment.
  • Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Kansas charges between about $6,000 and about $24,000 for hospitalization and treatment for septicemia, not including doctor fees, and estimates the hospital stay at two to eight days. And Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[4] in Nebraska charges between almost $12,000 and more than $44,000, not including doctor fee, to treat a severe infection that requires more than four days in the hospital, but charges can go up to between almost $100,000-$180,000 or more of there are major complications such as organ failure.
Related articles: Annual Physical, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • A staph infection of the skin often can be diagnosed with a visual exam, but if it has entered the bloodstream, a laboratory culture typically is required.
  • For a minor staph infection of the skin, a doctor might recommend treatment with an over-the-counter triple antibiotic cream or prescribe oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin[5] . For a more stubborn or antibiotic-resistant infection that is not life-threatening, several outpatient treatments with IV antibiotics might be recommended.
  • For a life-threatening staph infection that has spread to the blood, causing sepsis, hospitalization and treatment with IV antibiotics might be required. If the infection is an MRSA[6] infection, caused by bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics normally used, it can be especially serious and difficult to treat.
  • MedicineNet.com offers an overview[7] of staph infections.
Additional costs:
  • In a small number of cases, a staph skin infection can lead to scalded skin syndrome[8] which can require hospitalization and IV antibiotics and cost thousands of dollars.
Discounts:
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a locator[9] for clinics with sliding fee scales based on income. Many hospitals and doctors give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[10] in California offers a 35% discount.
  • Some drug manufacturers offer patient assistance programs. Any patient without prescription drug coverage who also is not eligible for Medicare typically qualifies for Together Rx Access[11] , a discount card that offers 25%-40% off many brand-name drugs.
Shopping for staph infection treatment:
  • A family doctor or dermatologist can diagnose and prescribe treatment for a simple staph infection. The American Academy of Dermatology offers a dermatologist locator[12] , and FindUrgentCare.com offers an urgent care center locator[13] .
  • For a serious infection that might have spread to the blood, it is necessary to go to an emergency room. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a hospital comparison tool[14] that lists hospitals near a chosen zip code, how far away they are and whether they offer emergency services.
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.  kff.org/health-costs/fact-sheet/prescription-drug-trends-fact-sheet-may-2010/
  2.  www.drugstore.com/search/search_results.asp?N=0&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&Ntk=All...
  3.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  4.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  5.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000837/
  6.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007261.htm
  7.  www.medicinenet.com/staph_infection/article.htm
  8.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002328/
  9.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  10.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  11.  www.togetherrxaccess.com/p/prescription-savings/about-together-rx-access/enroll.aspx
  12.  www.aad.org/find-a-derm
  13.  www.findurgentcare.com/
  14.  www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/(S(efntd2saaeir2l5pgarwuvvg))/search.aspx?AspxAut...
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