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!
Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences