Asthma Costs How Much?!

I recently read an article from The Daily Mail, and thought that it was funny that a newspaper from  England was reporting about asthma in America!

The Daily Mail reports that asthma in America costs more than $80 million per year. Asthma is a close second to Cancer costs, which are $87 million per year.

What's the average cost per person? $3,266 per year.

How can it be that much? It breaks down like this:

  • $529 for hospital care
  • $176 for outpatient hospital
  • $105 for emergency room visits
  • $640 for doctor appointments
  • $1,830 for prescriptions

Where does this data come from?

According to The Daily Mail article:

"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."

So, how do you rate? Do you spend more or less?

For us, medications for myself and my 3 kids (who all have asthma) can really add up. In 2008, my son started on injections to try to control his severe asthma. Biologics are special medicine given as shots for those with severe or hard to control asthma. And they're not cheap! His serum back then for his shots was $1,000 per month. Who knows if the price has gone up since then?

And hospital costs! Sigh. There was a time when my kids were little and were hospitalized 12 times for asthma (and pneumonia.) Each hospitalization was $1,000 per day, and they usually stayed 3 days - although my son once stayed 7 days. So, our total bill was usually over $3,000 for the hospital. But then we would get separate bills for the radiologist to read the x-rays, for the pediatrician stopping by, etc.)

So, I would call the hospital Billing Department and ask if they could add the newest bill to our tab? The person on the phone would laugh, and I would say, "No - really. We are making payments on the other hospital bills. Please add this to the payment plan." Then they would say, "Ooohhhh wow. Okay."

While they were in the hospital, that meant they missed school and we missed work. The Daily Mail article estimates 5.2 million missed school days and 8.3 million missed work days nationwide would equal $3 billion in lost productivity.

When my kids were discharged from the hospital, they were well enough to be discharged - but not well enough to go back to school  (especially when they came home on oxygen.) Asthma Doc would tell me to keep the kids home for a week after they discharged from the hospital. He wanted them to rest and get their strength back.

And let's not forget about the people who DON'T come from the hospital - those that die from asthma (whether at the hospital, home, work or school.) Did you know there are 10 people every day in the US who die from asthma?

Those costs are estimated at $29 billion per year.

So, what do we do with this information now? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest expanding asthma education and trigger reduction in the home.

You can search online for many different places that provide asthma education. It might be helpful to make sure you are doing everything right. There are new medications and treatment plans all the time. Talk to your doc and see if she wants you to change anything.

And check for asthma triggers in your house (dust, pets, mold, tobacco smoke, cockroaches, etc.)  The CDC has information on several asthma triggers and what to do about them.

So, yes. We are expensive. But we are definitely worth it!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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