A new study from Saint Louis University researchers shows that young transplant patients who lose their federally provided insurance coverage are more likely to stop taking necessary anti-rejection drugs, which can increase the risk of losing the transplanted organs.
The study appears in the March issue of Pediatric Transplantation.
“Immunosuppressive drugs that prevent organ rejection are incredibly expensive; sometimes more than $13,000 a year,” says study author Mark Schnitzler, Ph.D., associate professor in the departments of internal medicine and community health at Saint Louis University. “Even for families with insurance, the co-payments can be a huge financial burden.”
Most healthcare costs associated with transplants in the United States – such as critical immunosuppressive drugs – are covered by Medicare for between 36 and 44 months, after which point they are “cut off,” Schnitzler says. If families cannot afford medicine, it can mean losing the transplanted organ or even death.
Young adults from the ages of 18 to 23 face the greatest risk, as nearly a third of this age group lacks medical coverage. Even when families do have coverage after a transplant, it runs out 36 to 44 months post-transplant or when the child reaches adulthood.
Schnitzler and his team studied the medical records of 1,001 children who underwent kidney transplants between 1995 and 2001, half of whom lost their health insurance. He says the results point to a need for better and more comprehensive health insurance.
“Kids with transplanted kidneys who lose their insurance have nine times a greater chance of dying than those who don’t,” he says. “It is critical that we find a way to offer lifetime access to these children and their families so that our society does not continue to prematurely lose this promising pool of young adults.”
For families trying to make some difficult decisions, Schnitzler advises them to retain their insurance, as the cost of insurance is more affordable in the long term than the expense of transplant failure and hospital stays.
“Pediatric transplant recipients have every desire to become independent and useful members of society. To achieve that goal, they need to keep their transplants healthy, and immunosuppressive drugs are essential to ensure that that happens.”
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.
Rachel Otto | EurekAlert!
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction