Cerebral Palsy Treatment Costs

Cerebral palsy refers to impairments resulting from injury or malformation in the developing brain and ranging from imperceptible to severe disability. Treatment varies considerably dependent on the disorder’s specific symptoms, classification and severity, but congruently, the disorder-related costs to families and the economy are quite high and only exceeded by the costs related to mentally disability or impairment. With the respective network of resources, families providing care to cerebral palsy patients gain access to cost reducing resources.

The Familial Cost of Providing for a Cerebral Palsy Patient

Cerebral palsy patients with mental disabilities or impairments accrue more medical and other costs than those cerebral palsy patients that are not exhibiting mental retardation or other cognitive difficulties. The latter’s average lifetime expense associated with the disorder equals approximately $921,000 and has medical expenses ten times higher than individuals without the disorder while the former reaches closer to $1,000,000 and has medical expenses 26 times those of individuals without the disorder. Using the average lifetime cost for a cerebral palsy patient without mental retardation, the next breaks down the types of cost a family copes with in caring for their impaired family member:

  • Approximately 80 percent of expenses a cerebral palsy patient accrues stem from indirect costs including the inability to work, early death and limited employment opportunity due to disorder-related impairments and issues. For patients without mental retardation, this translates to roughly $742,000 in indirect lifetime costs.
  • Direct medical costs, including surgical bills, prescription medications, therapy sessions, rehabilitation, assistive technology and long-term care, account for approximately 10.2 percent of overall expenses or over $93,000 in a lifetime.
  • Direct non-medical costs account for the last $84,000 or 9.3 percent of lifetime costs associated with providing for a cerebral palsy patient. This classification refers to expenses such as home modifications, specialized education environments, and customized transportation.

Financial Assistance Sources and Programs Available to Cerebral Palsy Patients

Recent pediatric studies show strong familial support systems utilizing excellent assistance methods, and networks positively impact the health of caregivers and individuals with special needs. Families find abundant resources centers in government agencies, community groups, cerebral palsy-focused organizations, charities and disability networks. These entities serve to provide financial and emotional support for families, fostering the well-being of the entire family unit.

Government organizations and regulations officially recognize the significant financial strain facing families caring for cerebral palsy patients and accordingly designed multiple public assistance funds and tax credits. Long-term chronic health care programs aid families in need nationwide with financial support and access to special nutritional subsidies.

Maintaining health insurance coverage provides ample financial assistance with sufficiently reduced co-pays and premium costs. Recent programs like the Affordable Healthcare Act along with established health care regulations give families access to reasonable pricing and payments structures.

Community initiatives often support local citizens monetarily, materially and emotionally through non-profit organizations and locally organized events. Furthermore, recent advances in technology and Internet networks led to the advent of community fundraising with access to global or inclusive communities.

Charitable organizations seek to aid community members and support worthy causes by design. Charities may benefit from established professional networks after years of operation and can provide families with information, financial assistance, advocacy, connections and research.

The National Economic Cost of Cerebral Palsy

On a nationwide scale, cerebral palsy patients born in 2000 were expected to accumulate $11.5 billion in lifetime costs associated with their disorder. The percentages of indirect, direct and non-medical costs breakdown in the same percentages as the familial cost of the disorder yielding totals of $9.2 billion, $1.2 billion, and $1.1 billion respectively. Again, the vast majority of cost stems from the lost opportunity to work or develop diverse professional skill sets due to limited physical and mental function, however, as noted above, families bear an undue financial burden on top of their already stretched time capacities in terms of the level of care required by most children with cerebral palsy.

 

 

References:

 

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19416329

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1802121/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18282633

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