Blood vessels serve an important role of transporting blood supply to different parts of our body. In the event that blood vessels are narrowed or block, a catastrophic health problem such as a heart attack may occur. To make the blood flowing again, coronary artery should be opened in a surgical procedure called Angioplasty, also called Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA). Once the coronary artery is opened, a small special hollow tube to support the internal wall of the artery and encourage improvement of blood flow.
One kind of a special hollow tube is called an Angioplasty stent or, simply, a heart stent. Heart stents come in two kinds- the bare metal stents and drug-eluting stents. The bare metal heart stent’s price differs from a drug-eluting stent. And before you, or anyone you know, take the surgical procedure, it best if you know how much would a heart stent cost.
Average Angioplasty Stent Cost
- The average bare metal heart stent’s price is around $450 up to $1050. This said price range does not include the Angioplasty procedure, this is the cost of the device alone
- The average drug-eluting heart stent’s cost is around $1150 up to $2070. This said amount range does not include the Angioplasty procedure, this is the price of the device alone.
- You might wonder why drug-eluting heart stent’s cost is more expensive than the bare metal heart stent, this is because drug-eluting heart stents slowly release a drug to block cell proliferationand prevent the coronary from re-narrowing. The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) also approved drug-eluting stents after several clinical trials showed that this kind of heart stent was statically superior to bare metal ones.
- However, the price of the stent is not the only thing to be considered about but the entire Angioplasty surgery itself since you would not be needing any stent without opening your coronary artery.
- Usually, the hospital, laboratory, and doctors fee are separately billed. On average, the Angioplasty plus the heart stent would cost $15000 to as much as $150000 for individuals without health insurance coverage.
- Individuals with health insurance coverage would only pay for a deductible and a 10% to 25% of the total charges. Typically, patients with government-regulated insurances such as the Medicaid and Medicare can pay a lesser amount than their total charges.
Factors Affecting the Cost of an Angioplasty Stent
- The type of stent affects the cost of each. A drug-eluted stent is more expensive than the bare metal stent.
- The doctor’s fee may vary, and definitely, this will affect the total charges for the entire surgery.
- The hospital may have state of the art technologies that could be a reason that changes the overall cost.
- The geographic location is also considered a factor affecting the cost of the entire surgical procedure or even the heart stent alone. Rural and urban areas have different rates where the former has cheaper overall cost than the latter.
- It is imperative that you acquire a health insurance coverage before you proceed with the surgery. Without an insurance, it will definitely cost you more.
- Apart from the stent and the Angioplasty procedure, you also have to pay for the surgeon’s and hospital’s fee. Especially if you will be admitted to the hospital as an in-patient, you will definitely have to pay for the medical supplies and medications, nursing care, equipment use, meals, room and board and other services that the hospital has provided. Often times, laboratory fees and payments for interpreting examinations and laboratory works are billed separately. As much as you prepare yourself for the surgery, you should also prepare yourself for the extra costs on top of the initial billing.
- In an Angioplasty surgery, you need to be administered with an anesthesia first. Sometimes, anesthesia charges are not included in the initial charges and may be billed separately.
- There are cases where more than one heart or Angioplasty stent needs to be inserted. If this happens, this can increase the overall cost of the surgery.
- Your doctor will definitely prescribe you with medication until the recovery period is complete. These medications, purchased monthly, will definitely add up to your expenses.
Ways to Save Money
Admittedly, the price of an Angioplasty stent is already expensive and how much more the Angioplasty surgery itself? However, there are tips which you can make use of in order to slack off some money from your overall expenses of the medical procedure.
- There are some orthopedic experts and hospitals that offer discounts for uninsured or cash-paying patients. Financial assistance programs also exist to help those qualified cash-paying patients to pay their overall bill.
- Always conduct a research first before taking Angioplasty surgery and sticking a heart stent in your coronary artery. It always helps if you ask for testimonies from other people who have previously undergone Angioplasty surgery or read about it on the internet or any medical books. Never forget to ask an advice from your health care provider’s advice whether a heart stenting procedure will work and is necessary for you. Ask for the long-term complications that come with the surgical procedure and whether the risks do not surmount the benefits of the Angioplasty.
- Compare rates of hospitals, clinics, laboratories, anesthesiologists and surgeons so you could have an informed choice. In this way, you can assess which of the options yield the best service quality at a less expensive overall cost.
- You can have your Angioplasty near your location. If you do this, you will have the opportunity to meet the surgeon personally. This will give less fear since you will know that your doctor will take good care of you. You can also visit the hospital if you wish to know if it is a suitable place for you to have your operation and recovery. Apart from that, you will also save the money that is supposed to be intended for your travel expenses when going to a further clinic.
- After the surgery, opt to be an outpatient. As an outpatient, you will be released and return home five (5) to six (6) hours after the surgery or once the observation is complete. This will save you money that is intended for the room and board, nursing care, meals and other related services that a hospital would offer to an in-patient.
- If you do not have a health insurance policy, better get one before undergoing the Angioplasty procedure, or any procedure for that matter. Health insurance premiums that you need to pay monthly or quarterly might be an added cost but, in the long run, it will surely save you more money.
- If you are insured, contact your health insurance provider before you undergo any procedure. Your policy is a long document and it would be very difficult and close to impossible for you to memorize your benefits. It is good that you check in for confirmation with your insurance provider once in a while.
- Prevention is always better than cure. Heart failures are often the result of unhealthy lifestyle. Always watch what you eat and have a proper diet. Live an active lifestyle. Exercising promotes proper blood circulation resulting to healthier heart and body.