Heart failure is one of the most expensive diseases to
treat. Some of the costs are related to the rising costs of drugs, emergency
room visits, hospital visits, and doctor office visits. Although there have
been impressive advances in heart failure care, these improvements have caused
the cost of treating this disease to increase significantly.
Keep in mind that, even if your actual costs are very high, you
may not be responsible for paying all of them. Many Americans have at least one
form of health insurance that helps pay the costs of the health care that they
receive. Call your insurer at the number listed on the back of your insurance
card if you have questions about how much of your heart failure treatment your
health insurance will cover.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump blood effectively to the lungs or the rest of the body.
This can be because the person has developed a weakened heart muscle or because the heart muscle has thickened, making it difficult to fill the heart and backing up blood into the lungs.
With heart failure, the weakened heart pumps less blood than usual, causing the kidneys and adrenal glands to produce chemicals that help the body to hold onto salt and water.
In addition, the blood...
Medicines alone can mean thousands of dollars more in medical
expenses. Medicines are the major component of heart failure treatment. The
costs of medical therapy for heart failure have grown significantly in recent
years because of the rapidly rising prices of almost all drugs.
You must also consider less obvious costs of heart failure. For
example, the symptoms of heart failure may prevent you from working or reduce
your ability to earn an income. It is important that you consider all of your
possible expenses as you determine your ability to pay for heart failure
Helping you pay for your care
Fortunately, both large and small foundations exist to help people
pay for medical care that they could otherwise not afford. Many of the
foundations offer grants to pay for other services beyond health care. Many
hospitals in the United States are not-for-profit institutions whose mission is
to provide high-quality health care to the communities they serve. In many
instances, this goal includes delivering medical services to people who cannot
pay for care.
There is also assistance for people who cannot afford the medicines
prescribed for their disease. In the case of medicines, drug manufacturers who
have developed patient assistance programs (PAPs) distribute free or discounted
medicines to people who otherwise could not afford them.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
July 30, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 30, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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