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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

How much does asthma cost?

(Shutterstock image)

Allergy & Asthma Network recently shared a story on their Facebook page from The Daily Mail. 

(I found it rather funny because a newspaper from England was reporting about asthma in America!)

How expensive is asthma? Well, it ranks right up there with cancer, which costs $87 billion in healthcare. Asthma costs $80 billion. Wow!

How much does that mean for the average person with asthma? The Daily Mail article says:

$3,266 for the average person

That breaks down to:

  • $640 for doctor appointments
  • $1,830 for prescriptions
  • $105 for ER visits
  • $176 for outpatient hospital visits
  • $529 for hospital care
Where does The Daily Mail get that data?

 "The research is based on a six-year survey on more than 200,000 people from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the most comprehensive source of data on health care use in the US."
You may be thinking, "We don't spend that much!" 

 Or you may think, "We spend WAY more than that!" 

I had a son that started on biologic injections (those are shots for people with severe asthma, whose asthma can't be controlled with standard asthma medicines.) My son began getting shots in 2008, and his vial of medicine for his shots was $1,000 back then. I'm sure it's closer to $1,500 now. So, we would be spending the average of $3,266 in three month (when you add in doctor's office visits for the shots, inhalers, etc.)

Hospitalizations for us were more than $529, ours averaged about $1,000 a day. The kids were usually hospitalized for 3 days, so we would easily top $3,000 for a hospital stay (and sometimes we had 2 kids in the hospital at the same time - thanks to pneumonia!)

Add to that missed school and work days, and it really adds up. (They estimate $3 billion in missed school and work days.) 

When my kids were hospitalized for asthma, they would usually miss the following week of school after they were discharged from the hospital. Asthma Doc stressed the importance that they rest, rest, and rest some more!

So, now that we know we're expensive to treat, what do we do?

The study recommends expanding asthma education so people can better manage their asthma, and to reduce environmental triggers in the home (dust mites, mold, dander from animals, etc.)

You can search for "Asthma Education" online and find a LOT of information, here is info from The CHEST Foundation 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists many asthma triggers and how to reduce those in  your home.

We may be expensive, but we're worth it!



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