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!
Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine