Post-stroke language impairment adds thousands to medical costs

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 who had in 2004 and found:

  • Twelve percent (398 patients) had aphasia or language impairment.
  • 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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New metric predicts language recovery following stroke

Jun 24, 2010

A team of researchers led by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center has developed a method to predict post-stroke recovery of language by measuring the initial severity of impairment. Being able ...

Unlocking the brain after stroke

Sep 23, 2008

University of Queensland research is set to unlock the regions of the brain central to successful language treatment following a stroke.

At a loss for words

Nov 21, 2011

Research into aphasia - the inability to speak or write well-formulated sentences and words - is strong at the UA. Researchers have received $2 million toward the study of the condition.

Recommended for you

Time to take notice and tackle heart failure

14 hours ago

Experts have sounded a call to action for policy makers at local, national, and international levels to promote heart failure prevention, improve heart failure awareness among healthcare professionals, ensure ...

Hopes dashed for an agent to prevent reperfusion injury

17 hours ago

The administration of an experimental agent known as TRO40303 to patients who have had a heart attack, with the hope of preventing tissue damage when impaired blood flow is corrected (reperfusion), was disappointingly ineffective ...

User comments