This is a bill for an 8 day hospital stay I had a few months back. In 2014 alone, my hospital and doctor bills for asthma exceeded $800,000. Since 1999 Ive racked up over $12 million dollars in medical bills to keep me going.
But it’s not just hospital bills that account for the billions spend on the disease every year, patients with chronic asthma often have secondary conditions or develop complications from the drugs, sometimes requiring expensive surgeries, like sinus or fundoplication surgeries. In my case, I had to have surgery to place a venous access port into my chest, because 50 years of steroids pretty much destroyed my veins. I have to have my port flushed once a month, which isn’t free either. Then there are the ongoing costs for medications, diagnostic tests( lung function, sleep studies, blood tests), medical supplies such as nebulizers, CPAP machines and sometimes even oxygen equipment. We haven’t even touched on all the missed work and school days, but you get the picture. Asthma, especially severe asthma, is expensive.
Just another reason why getting a handle on asthma right from the git go is so important.
Update( 2-1-2016): If you think that bill was high, check this one out! It’s for an 8 day stay I had in January 2016. The only difference is that I spent most of that time in the ICU on a ventilator at UCSF.