Why Pediatric Heart Surgery is Still the Most Expensive on the Market
Pediatric heart surgeries are still the most expensive on the market, with the median price of a major heart procedure now hovering around $40,000, according to data compiled by the New York-based consulting firm, IMS Health.
But that’s about to change.
According to a new study by the IMS Healthcare Center, the median prices of the top 10 surgical procedures for children are set to drop to $35,000 in 2019.
The research firm says the median cost of heart surgery for a 3-year-old is about $28,000 and that a 4-year old’s average price is $27,000.
The new study estimates that the median age for children to have a major procedure will fall from 35 to 32 in 2019, while the median time for a major surgery for an 8-year, 6-year and 5-year age group will fall to 26 to 24 months.
That’s a marked change from last year, when the median average price of major heart surgeries was $35.2 million, according the report.
The median age at the time was 36.7.
However, the researchers note that these median prices may not be a good indicator of the full costs of a heart surgery.
They point out that many patients have insurance and have been told that the costs of major procedures can vary widely.
“For example, the average age of a patient with a major coronary artery bypass surgery is 29 years old, but the median annual out-of-pocket expenses for a non-specialty surgery for children under age 6 is $6,700,” the report said.
The median cost for a pediatric surgery is $34,000 while the average cost for an adult procedure is $37,000 for the same age group.
In a related report, IHS reported that pediatric heart surgery cost $25,000 per child last year and $31,000 last year.
The report notes that while the cost of a pediatric heart procedure is likely to decrease, it’s still a very expensive procedure for most children.
That’s because it’s more expensive than a minor procedure, such as an angioplasty or catheterization, that can be performed at home.
“Pediatric surgery is also more invasive, requires larger equipment and may require longer hospital stays,” the study said.
According to the research firm, the number of pediatric heart surgeries performed in the United States increased by 23% in 2019 over the previous year.