AnonymousFebruary 9, 2007 at 5:05 pm
I went and got a IVIG treatment a few days ago and it was an isolated event which made it easier than the other hospital statements to figure the price.
Pharmacy $5.00 = 2 tylenol
IV Solutions $171.50 = saline
Other Pharmacy $5.00 = 1 Benadryl
IV Therapy $663.37 = the guy that stuck me and a recliner
Clinic $109.20 = Place to sit until they let the guy stick me
Drugs requiring detail coding $23,800.00 = “IG”
Add it all together and you get a $24,754.07 IVIG:eek:
I thought some of you might want to compare prices. Pretty increadable huh?
Oh yes there is one other thing
Beside the PAY THIS AMOUNT line it says “See Messages”
AnonymousFebruary 9, 2007 at 5:14 pm
Yeah Tim it is crazy how much it costs. I hope your covered one way or the other. I get 60 grams now and it’s something like $20,000 a month but since i am on Medicade/Medicare they only pay like $15,000 so every month they try and stick me with the other $5,000 NOT.
If your for some reason not covered let me know, I know of a few places online for help.
AnonymousFebruary 9, 2007 at 5:40 pm
I have 2 insurances and I’m just waiting to see how much “coverage” I have. This is so rediculous to me. I’m scheduled for 1 per month. There is NO way that costs even close to that to make/mix/collect……etc. This is one of the reasons no-one will hire people full time and supply benefits. I couldn’t do anything but SCREAM when this bill came in. I’m so glad I was home alone. OK enough of me ranting. (sigh) (deeeeeep breath) It will be fine,it will be fine,it will be fine……………..! Thanks Jeremy I might need those web sites.
AnonymousFebruary 9, 2007 at 7:20 pm
When I told my brother you were going to get once a month IVIG treatments he wondered how much it was going to cost and if your insurance covered it. He figured that it would cost about $7,000 for one treatment based on his getting five days of IVIG treatment for $37,000. I can’t believe that just your ONE treatment could cost nearly $25,000. — ??? — WOW!
I hope you have insurance — did they do a “pre-approve”?
You know, if the treatment is effective then you just have to focus on that but I can understand your reaction — it does seem like a ridiculous amount.
AnonymousFebruary 9, 2007 at 10:34 pm
Emily’s IVIG was costing about $25,000 a month when she was on real high doses a few months ago. I *think* it usually runs about $100 a gram. I could be wrong on that number though because it’s been a long time since I looked it up. She gets 20 grams during each infusion.
I would think if 1 treatment is costing you that much to go to an infusion center that you might want to look into getting homecare. We buy the Benadryl & Tylenol to pre-medicate ourselves & the insurance is charged $200a month for supplies (tubing, Huber needles, alcohol swabs, etc) and to rent the pump. I think it might be ALOT cheaper for you & probably alot easier too since you can get the treatment in your own home.
We have a million dollar lifetime limit on our health insurance. I know we are approaching it quickly but I try to not worry too much about it right now.
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 2:18 am
How many grams of IVIg did you get? That will determine the IVIg total cost.
I was told off-the-record that the wholesale price of the brand of IVIg that I have used was about $48/g at some point late last year. This price was for one of the cheaper brands. The more expensive brands might be about double. With the supply problems, the price might be even higher than I suspect. Because everybody must make a profit, else why would you be in business, the price at the time of infusion is probably more like $100 to 200/g. Depending on the brand and how much you got, $24000 may not be out of line, although it does strike me as high for a single infusion, which would probably be no more than 100 g.
Sterile saline solutions really do cost about what you mention. At my infusion center, there is a patient to nurse ratio of about 4:1. Assuming a typical salary for a nurse in my area, along with the usual overhead, a nurse will cost about $300/hr. If the infusion takes 8 hours (mine do), then the cost of the nurse is about $600/hr. Even if you get little attention from the nurses, you are paying for someone to be there in case something bad happens. After all, every IVIg infusion carries some danger of life-threatening consequences.
Now, as to whether IVIg should cost what it does, let’s take a stab at it. Ig is present in the blood at about 1 to 2 percent, so it takes at least 50 to 100 grams of blood to provide 1 gram of IVIg. If a donor gives 0.5 liter, he gives about 5 to 10 g Ig. I know that a few of the suppliers pay their donors, I think about $20/donation. So the donor cost is $2/g to $4/g. However, the blood is 100% tested for all sorts of viruses and bacteria. Even with fairly cheap tests, I think the costs could be around $10/g Ig. With the costs to purify it, stablize it, and comply with the FDA cGMP (current good manufacturing process) and cGLP (laboratory), it would not surprise me to find the wholesale cost at $50 to $100/g.
Overall, I would say the bill is high, but not necessarily to the point of rip-off. Again, it depends on the brand and how much IVIg you got. It is shocking and I hope your insurance picks up the cost.
Godspeed in this.
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 8:19 am
I haven’t had IVIG for almost a year now. My new Dr thinks I have GBS residuals, not CIDP that my first Dr thought. At that time I was getting 52 grams IVIG 3 days a month from a home health care service. The claim summery from my insurance shows they were billed $40,999.56. My insurance paid $8,239.44 and I paid $102.00. I start with Dr #3 on Monday to see if he can break the tie as to what I have. I keep feeling worst but Dr #2 says most of my stiffness and pain are not related to the GBS. Over the past few months I’ve seen an Internal medicine Dr a Rheumatoligist and Pulmontoligist plus my primary Dr who all say they can’t find anything. Anyway this is the place for ranting if you feel a need to. Someone will take away information out of the ranting so it’s a good thing. Take care.
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 9:07 am
The claim summery from my insurance shows they were billed $40,999.56. My insurance paid $8,239.44 and I paid $102.00.
I believe this illustrates what wrong with our health care system. The system charges some off the wall fee. The insurance company or Medicare says it will pay a small fraction of that amount. The individual then is charged a more reasonable amount. And the medical system is happy
However it you do not have insurance the heath care system expects you to pay the whole amount. Most people I know that don’t have insurance because they can not afford it. So way is it that the medical system expect that person to pay the full amount?
Must be the new fuzzy math. :confused:
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 10:48 am
Well let me start by saying I think $24,754.07 for the treatment is “insurance gouging” … I agree this IVIG stuff is very tough to obtain and prepare and store…etc. BUT as was stated the (medical community) including the doctors jack the prices up so high that it will help cover the poor soul that can’t afford the insurace PREMIUMS of decent coverage. I’m told that the premiums on my primary insurance would typically cost around $1,000.00 per month. Ok put that in the household budget . Then expect to feed the family and heat the house and FILL THE TANK …..etc. I know you all understand where I’m coming from. There may be one or two of you out there without any money worries and a huge portfolio with 1st generation of Wal-Mart and Microsoft stock that was handed down from grandma~n~grandpa, but most have worked trying to survive. I am one of the lucky ones that have 2 insurances and only have to out of pocket on my secondary. I’m a Teamster and have been for a very long time. I’m probablly going to go on complete disability after the war with unsocial unsecurity and get some disability from my union also, I’ll draw on that until I’m 65 then draw my pension (which most do not have either). Actually the “STATEMENT” did not catch me off guard. I’ve known for a long time the system was screwed up. The Hospital and my insurance company will wittle the figures down and settle on a “discounted” price and it will be a fraction of the one I got. BUT if I didn’t have insurance WHO WOULD BARGAIN FOR ME?? The normal person would just have to go BANKRUPT. I asked the hospital if I could bring my own meds to take because I’m on maintenance meds anyway, and I had a 3 month supply at home. I guess you all know the answer to that question. NO “we don’t know the quality or expiration date….BULLS#&$..! It’s all about the money. I also know the doctors are very smart and deserve to make a very good living,the hospitals need to pay for new equipment…. but the medical system is just like our government $200.00 hammers,$400.00 toilet seats…etc. I talked to a guy about a hoist that picked me up from the bed when I couldn’t move. The hoist cost $8,000.00 , ok now I checked into that and the hoist uses a Volvo windshield wiper motor and the rest is very normal pieces like the cable and hook…etc. I’m saying this because I know mechanical equipment. They ROBBED the hospital on these hoists and there is one in every room in the rehab wing which is 6 floors. Of course we are paying for that too.
I want to appologize for ranting on the weekend it’s just not meant for that. I’m sorry for the lengthy post also.One thing I can’t appoligize for is my opinion about a totaly screwed up system that preys on the middle class.
I love you all and ya’ll (a southern term;) ) have no idea how much your strength and hope has helped me. Thanks for giving me a chance to express my feelings. Most people would just walk away or tune me out, or maybe just tell me to shut the 773H up. I guess I’ll listen to my last “STATEMENT” lol… THANKS and Keep your head held high.
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 8:41 pm
This is outrageous ~ as are most things in regards to “health insurance”! When we lost our coverage, by moving out of state, we were paying $865.00 per month plus $30.00 co-pays. That meant everytime I had PT it was a co-pay! And that total was over 1/2 our monthly wages . . .
Think about it ~ your “health” is not being insured but other’s bonuses and retirement are 😮 If your health was truly being looked out for, complimentary/alternative medicine would be included in the coverage. I do not believe in socialized medicine because there are “gaps” but could they be any worse that what has happened in this country???
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 9:02 pm
It’s ok to rant – I know how you feel – I’m a single parent, trying to put 2 kids through college (without their father’s support). In addition, my daughter has ivig every 2 weeks for over a year. I went through these same frustrations in the beginning. Now I just look at the bill for laughs (not). Currently, I have a $41,000 bill staring me in the face unresolved, but life goes on. In fact, things are starting to look good now for the first time (healthwise), and for that I am very grateful.
Don’t dwell on the money for now – it can eat you up. I know it’s hard, but do what’s right for your health, and, surprisingly, the rest will fall into place as you go along. We are seeing that in action. Our perspective is that we now have a new financial “normal”. In time, it will get better.
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 10:45 pm
I understand there are a lot of ways to look at this. We are pre-paying for research , equipment ,development of the drugs, building costs of the research labs , electricity for the scientists and a ton of othere justifications. But there is no way and never will be to make me understand why some people bear the larger load of medical costs. I don’t believe socialized medicine is the answer but there have to be guidlines surely. When the news or the Hurricane approching there was price gouging at the gas stations. This was even before it hit shore. Charging this much …….. I’m going to stop before it gets me PO’d again. I’m alive and if they can get that much for it , so be it. I guess you can’t put a price on quality of life and pain relief.
Sorry for being a downer.:) keep your head up!
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2007 at 11:55 pm
Towards the end of January, I attended a meeting on Capital Hill with a number of consumer-patient organizations, to discuss support for Rep.Henry Waxman’s “Access to Life-Saving Drugs Act.” The bill would establish a process through which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be able to approve lower cost copies of biotech drugs, also known as biologics or biopharmaceuticals. Biologics, biopharmaceuticals or biotech products, are drugs that come from living sources as opposed to chemically synthesized drugs. Plasmapharesis and IVIg amoungst many others would obviously fall under Biotech durgs
Currently, there is no statutory framework for the approval of generic alternatives to biotech drugs, even after all patents have expired more than 20 years later. As a result, the manufacturers of these drugs can charge monopoly prices indefinitely. Mr. Waxman’s bill would provide such a statutory framework, which could save patients and our health care system billions of dollars a year in drug costs and provide access to life-saving drugs to those who need them.
There is so much info, and it was an extremely interesting meeting. The whole thing dates back to 1984 when Hatch-Waxman Act ‘came into being’, and legislation was passed creating the competitive generic drug industry for synthetic drugs. Biologics was in its infancy then and was not included.
This bill will only give the FDA [B]authority[/B] to approve generic biologics. So …. this does not mean that if it is passed, that generics will be available immediately. It means that the FDA will be allowed to, legally, approve, under very specific guidelines, generic biotech drugs. I think they said that the FDA would be able to approve a generic on a product by product basis,. It could very well take many, many years before guidelines are established for biotech generics. Also, it should be noted that because biotech products are so complex etc, that there will not be tons of competitors as in the synthetic market. If there is one competitor for a generic bio drug, the savings would only be between 15 and 20% (or so), not the up to 80% as in the synthetic market. Sooooo …… this will really impact the healthcare providers, insurance co’s etc. and finally filter down to us, in as much as maybe some of our providers will agree to pay for our IVIg etc, if they have not done so in the past (one example is Blue Cross Blue Shield of CA, If i recall correctly, who would not cover IVIg).
There is a lot of interest in this at federal and state level, both for and against the bill. I’m sure you call all think of pro’s and con’s for this as well.
I am so tired at the moment, I just cant think straight. I apologize if I didnt make sense, or muddled up my legal and political terminology. I just wanted you guys to be aware that there are people out there in government, who are fighting to try and get cheaper, life saving drugs approved for us. I thought I needed to let you know since there is this discussion regarding the cost of IVIg.
AnonymousFebruary 11, 2007 at 12:38 am
Thank you Ali.:) I have BCBS as my primary but it’s through my teamsters union. and it’s called TEAMCARE but the card has BCBS PPO all over it. So far they have covered the bulk. I have a $1000.00 out of pocket per year and a million per yer max. Always good to hear from you. I am so new to this and getting educated everyday. I would be so in the dark if it wasn’t for this forum. THANKS AGAIN!:)
AnonymousFebruary 11, 2007 at 6:27 am
In Australia we have two systems – public (paid for by the government which everyone is entitled to however there is often a long waiting list eg years for some provedures) and private (you get to choose your own doctor, private hospitals often have nicer facilities but not necessarily better care and becasue you are paying you often get in a lot quicker) Under the private system you can either pay in full or most people have private health insurance (level of cover depends on plan you select) but this often involves an excess or co-payment and if the doctors charge over a preset schedule then you can still be out of pocket.
Even though i pay approx $2000 a year for health insurance (family cover with extras for dental, optical etc) I was treated as a public patient in a public hospital (mainly because i live in a country area and the local hospital is public and there are no specioalists here anyway) So i saw no bills at all. I have no idea what the IVIG cost for 5 days but the nurses told me a bed in ICU is $1500 a day and i was there for 42 days! I dont know how much i would have been out of pocket if i had have gone private.
There is a lot of criticism in Australia about our health care system … especially the long waiting lists, but after having GBS i have no complaints at all.
AnonymousMarch 19, 2007 at 7:32 am
I’ve been trying to figure out the cost of IVIG and really can’t get a straight answer out of my Dr.or the Hospital where i get the Infusion.I was diagnosed w/CIDP in Jan.06.I had infusion therapy in Feb,& Mar,06 3days each timew/approx.70 grams each day.The bill from the Hospital was approx.32K for each treatment[64k total].The next round of treatment was in Dec.06,this time 75grams per day for 3 days-bill approx.32k.In Jan.& Feb.07 same treatment 75grams per day-3 days-bill 94k for each treatment cycle[188k total]:confused: -Jan.& Feb 07 jumped almost 300% for each month.I’ve called the Hospital numerous time to ask for an explanation-they keep telling me they are reviewing it,my Dr.tells me it is just the cost of doing business.I do have Medicare and they seem Ok and pay the bill.
I think it is obscene.Has anyone else seen an increase in IVIG?[url]http://:confused[/url]
AnonymousMarch 19, 2007 at 9:19 am
I had another IVIG a few days ago and it was the same dosage but there was a $8,000.00 reduction in price of the “meds” . I don’t know if it was a change in brands or what. The first was in a bottle and this one was in a bag. I’m assuming it was a brand change because I looked it up on the internet and there were about 14 manufactors that did IVIG in a variety of ways and filtering methods. The site did not list any prices but it did list the specs of each company. OBTW I was “awarded” my disability so now I’m going through the insurance battle because my insurance will stop on April the 18th and it’s amazing what the doctors know. I’ve had several that had my appointments for after the 18th to call and change my date to before then. It’s all about the money. I’m sure things will work out . I have faith and with my work it works.:) I have decieded to not worry myself about the money and just be conservative .
AnonymousMarch 19, 2007 at 12:04 pm
[B][COLOR=”SeaGreen”]I went into the hospital on December 13th and had a 5 day stay. I received 5 treatments of IVIG. The bill I received from the hospital which was actually sent to my insurance company was for $175,000. All drugs provided, including the IVIG came to $154,000 of the above amount.
Gouging? Yes. I’m sure my insurance company was having to pay for at least 20 poor souls without insurance. I guess that’s why my premiums are so high.[/COLOR][/B]:confused: :confused:
AnonymousMarch 19, 2007 at 2:29 pm
there are rip offs & there are rip offs. to each hosp their own. i had little trouble getting the cost of my ivig significantly reduced when i suggested i would not pay. years later when they were double & triple billing me for lab tests & accounting would do nothing, i sent the ceo a registered letter threatening a look into a class action suit since i did not feel they were picking on me as an individual. i was hoping he would look into the matter & i’d only have to pay once for the tests. instead his secretary called [no record that way, i figure] saying i did not have to pay the bills at all & it was too small of a matter for their concern [right! but i did drop it which is what they wanted]. take care. be well.
gene gbs 8-99
in numbers there is strength
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