How Much Does a Bone Marrow Transplant Cost?

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Unfortunately there is no single answer to the question of how much a bone marrow transplant might cost. So many things factor into a bone marrow transplant, making the total actual cost of such a procedure—assuming the patient has no insurance—range from $80,000 up to $400,000. Complications such as graft versus host disease can make any procedure exceptionally more expensive, not to mention life-threatening.

Recent Cost Studies

The most recently published study relating to the cost of a bone marrow transplantation was carried out by researchers from both the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research and the National Marrow Donor Program.

These researchers—whose work was published in the journal Bone Marrow Transplant in the summer of 2012—examined an "administrative claims database representing a national, commercially insured population" in order to determine what the average costs are concerning both autologous and allogeneic transplantations.

Allogeneic transplantations more expensive

Since allogeneic transplantations are coming from another donor, they are understandably more expensive than autologous transplants, in which the patient banks and receives his or her own bone marrow or peripheral stem cells.

The patients they looked at had undergone a transplant between the years 2007 and 2009, and researchers only looked at the costs generated through the first 100 days post-transplantation, which suggests that they did not include any costs associated with the preparative regimen of high-dose chemotherapy and radiation, or the time in the hospital prior to the procedure.

Nonetheless, they determined that:

-- The median 100-day total costs for an autologous transplant was $99,899. Costs ranged from as low as $73,914 to a high of $140,555.

-- The median 100-day total costs for an allogeneic transplant was $203,026. Costs here ranged from a low of $141,742 to a high of $316,426.

They note that an overwhelming majority of costs occur during the initial transplant hospitalization and that costs tend to be higher among pediatric patients.

Source: Majhail NS et al. Costs of autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in the United States: a study using a large National Private Claims Database. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2012 Jul 9. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2012.133.

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