Post-Stroke Language Impairment Adds Thousands to Medical Costs
Feb 16, 2012 - 4:29:26 PM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - DALLAS, Feb. 16, 2012 -- Stroke-related language impairment adds about $1,703 per patient to medical costs the first year after stroke, according to research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers retrospectively examined the records of 3,200 South
Carolina Medicare patients who had ischemic strokes in 2004 and found:
-- Twelve percent (398 patients) had aphasia or language impairment.
-- Medicare payments for those with aphasia averaged $20,734 per patient
vs. $18,683 for those without it -- an 8.5 percent increase.
-- Aphasia patients were older and had more severe strokes.
-- Aphasia patients stayed in healthcare facilities 6.5 percent longer and
had higher rates of illness and death.
"These findings are important because dramatic changes are occurring in healthcare reimbursement, specifically imposed caps on Medicare
reimbursement for outpatient speech language pathology and physical
therapy," said Charles Ellis Jr., Ph.D., lead author and associate
professor of Health Sciences and Research at the Medical University of
South Carolina in Charleston. "Although the current reimbursement cap
is $1,870 for these therapies, the financial burden of the cap remains
a major limiting factor to access long-term rehabilitation for patients
with persisting aphasia."
Annually, about 100,000 people who suffer a stroke will be left with
language deficits due to aphasia.
Co-authors are: Annie N. Simpson, M.Sc.; Heather Bonilha, Ph.D.;
Patrick D. Mauldin, Ph.D.; and Kit N. Simpson, Dr.Ph. Author
disclosures are on the manuscript.
Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart
Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors
and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position.
The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their
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