Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Organ Transplant costs & financial assistance in the U.S.

I receive many requests from the U.S. asking for help in finding financial assistance with costs associated with organ and tissue transplants. These requests are usually not from the patient but from their loved ones who feel a need to help. I refer them to the National Foundation for Transplants whose mandate is to help transplant patients overcome the financial obstacles to a second chance at life.

For help with prescription drugs I refer people to Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Partnership for Prescription Assistance has helped millions of patients get financial assistance with their drugs.

The following data is taken from the National Foundation for Transplants home page and will give you some idea of what to expect in the way of organ transplant expenses.

How much does an organ transplant cost?

The cost of organ transplants varies greatly, not only with the type of transplant, but with the hospital where the procedure occurs. In addition, costs will climb greatly if the patient develops complications resulting in longer hospital stays. The costs below are broad averages for costs of various types of transplants, based on NFT’s experiences of working with patients all over the country. These costs are only for typical hospital and physician fees. They do not include any pre-transplant or follow-up treatments.

  • Heart: $650,000

  • Lung: $400,000

  • Double Lung: $550,000

  • Heart/Lung: $875,000

  • Liver: $520,000

  • Kidney: $250,000

  • Pancreas: $300,000

  • Kidney/Pancreas: $370,000

  • Kidney/Heart: $760,000

  • Liver/Kidney: $660,000

  • Intestine: $900,000

  • Bone Marrow (autologous): $270,000

  • Bone Marrow (allogeneic related): $480,000

  • Bone Marrow (allogeneic unrelated): $600,000

  • Cornea: $23,300

What are some of the other major costs faced by transplant candidates and recipients?

Some of the other major costs include pre-transplant evaluations, dental work required before transplant, treatment of the underlying disease while waiting to be transplanted, donor matching (particularly for bone marrow transplants), travel, food and lodging costs for the patient and a care-giver leading up to and following the transplant (when the transplant takes place in another city), post transplant follow-up and treatment, the essential anti-rejections medications which organ recipients must take every day for the rest of their lives, and treatment for problems caused as a result of side effects from these medications.

Source: National Foundation for Transplants

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NFT said...

This is really great information for transplant patients! We all can imagine how daunting it would be to hear the soaring costs when it comes to transplant expenses. Thank you for sharing this information with the transplant community.

Emily Joyner
National Foundation for Transplants

Merv Sheppard said...

Thanks for your comments. The NFT is to be commended for the great work that it does for transplant patients & their families.