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.
Annually, about 100,000 people who suffer a stroke will be left with language deficits due to aphasia.