Cost of ablation

Anyone have experience with the cost of an ablation? I viewed my bill yesterday online and was blown away at the amount. Anyone have any guesses or experience?


10 Comments

I cannot begin to comprehend the costs

by Gemita - 2023-10-06 12:14:25

Mae, please put us all out of our misery.  Tell us about the bill you have received?

I know in the UK it can go to thousands of pounds depending on the type of procedure you have, the investigations you have prior to and during the procedure, the equipment you need during the ablation, the time it takes to perform the ablation, the anaesthetist's costs, theatre costs, EPs costs etc. etc. Ablation times can vary enormously too and so therefore will costs. 

I attach our NICE (UK) guidelines of costs and cost effectiveness for UK members.  I have no idea of the costs in the States?  

See page 41 of link for costs of various ablations in the range £7,000 to £20,000 (+ equipment costs for each procedure) (as at April 2021), but these amounts will be before taxes and any additional costs. 

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng196/evidence/j3-ablation-health-economics-analysis-pdf-326949243734

Drumroll please....

by Mae11 - 2023-10-06 13:01:19

The total amount billed was $126,420.00! My jaw quite literally dropped! Thankfully I have outstanding insurance through my husband's union. They paid $123,486.64.

The breakdown was as follows:

Cardiology $104,386

-$85,860 SVT Ablation, $8,956 for the additional areas, and $9,570 EP stimulation after drug 

Anesthesiology $3,909

Medical Supplies and Devices $13,743

Recovery room $2,254

Plus the costs from pharmacy, EKG, labs,  and radiology.

I will say, it was a 3.5 hour long procedure.. but WOW!

It's a little less on this side of the pond...

by crustyg - 2023-10-06 13:24:01

... and these figures are from 4.5years ago.  Well known private hospital chain, ablation (both without and with internal mapping tech - the special leads are a lot more expensive) with conscious sedation (i.e. midazolam + fentanyl): £11k.

I thought this was a keen price as my two were through a large private health insurer, but a cycling chum had his done at almost the same time in the same hospital, self-pay so no large customer discount exactly the same price, £11k.

The EP-doc was paid about £1100 out of that £11k (much more than a PM + leads implantation, but a lot more skilled and time consuming).

IIRC someone posted the cost of an ablation in the USA at about the same time - about $45k.

I suspect that there's an element of clawing back lost revenues due to Covid-19 lockdowns etc. in the price increase.  It may well be much the same here.  Airfares, hotels and hospitality in general all show much increased prices over the last year or so.

Mae - WOW!

by Gemita - 2023-10-06 13:41:56

That is shocking news indeed.  How could anyone afford to pay for their own care?  I cannot remember, but was the ablation successful in the end.  I don't think you were too happy with the results?  Just imagine if you had to pay all that money from your own pocket?

Thank you so much for sharing those costs.  As an NHS patient in the UK, I don't often get to see the real costs of these procedures.  We are indeed very fortunate in so many respects to have a national health service.  

Successful?

by Mae11 - 2023-10-06 14:25:30

At this point, no. I do not feel that it was successful. I can feel runs of an arrhythmia sometimes a few times a day. My pacemaker is only alerting them here and there. I called Wednesday and asked for a heart monitor because I am feeling them often but the pacemaker is only alerting on some. I cannot send a manual transmission with my biotronik, it only sends nightly alerts. 

 

Cost of ablation

by Julros - 2023-10-06 17:06:56

I underwent an afib and aflutter ablation in March. I cannot find my explanation of benefits, that would show what my insurance paid, but I paid $900 out of pocket. I asked for an estimate before the procedure and it was quoted as $118,000. 

So far I have had no recurrance of either arrhythmia. 

3 years ago when I had an aflutter ablation and a CRT-P implanted I believe the cost before insurance was $250,000. 

Cost

by Mae11 - 2023-10-06 20:22:31

Dang, so this price seems to be about the norm in the US. Seems unbelievable to me! I'm happy to hear that yours has so far been successful! I went in for a "focal" atrial tachycardia ablation. But ended up with a total of 24 ablation sites. I can't seem to understand that part..

Healing period

by Gemita - 2023-10-07 03:29:37

Mae, runs of Atrial Tachycardia daily wouldn’t necessarily mean total failure of an ablation since if you are still within the healing period - up to 6 months (or perhaps even longer for some of us) - occasional runs might be normal for you.  I would compare your current daily runs of tachycardia with your pre-ablation episodes to assess whether things have improved?   If things are the same and you are within the healing period, I would still be optimistic for a good outcome longer term.  In the meantime, watch for any flare ups following receipt of that bill and report immediately(!)

Sounds to me as though your "focal" atrial tachycardia became "multi focal" atrial tachycardia during any EP study at the time of your ablation, unless other arrhythmias were also seen.  For the amount they charged, perhaps they could provide an indication of the sites they ablated and tell you whether any other arrhythmias were identified?   Perhaps many trigger sites were present and they had to move the ablation catheter from one point to another, placing lesions that encircle multiple sites to electrically isolate all of the potential triggers areas.  Some of us may require more ablation lesions than others. 

Healing

by Mae11 - 2023-10-07 12:15:19

I'm sure that I am still healing and my body does always seem sensitive to procedures. The way I feel at this point, I honestly wish I had not gone through with it. My heartrate feels so much more volatile than before. Hopefully in the coming months I will be able to say otherwise..

He said in his notes that it resulted in a "flurry of SVT", so I suppose that means more than one area. I have a printout of the areas ablated. Each is listed as Ablation # and every site is listed as Crista Terminalis. The image of the ablation sites looks similar to a C, but the top and bottom curl in towards the center more.

ABLATION COST

by freightdog - 2023-10-09 16:20:04

I had convergent hybrid ablation in May and the cost was well over $200k.  Then I had a PM implanted about 6 weeks ago and I haven't seen the final cost yet but seems like it was north of $50k. Fortunately, I am covered by Medicare (standard plus a supplemental policy) here in the US and had to pay very little of the cost.  I don't know how anyone without great health insurance could afford the treatment I received.  Too bad our politicians in DC never make a serious effort to solve the problem.

 

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