Every now and again, a story comes about a celebrity who takes out an enormous insurance policy on a part of their body. In high-stakes professional sports it’s actually quite common. But what about you—have you ever wondered how much your body parts are worth? Odd as it may sound, it’s an important consideration in the age of a fluctuating and often controversial healthcare system that demands hefty prices to heal flesh and bone. For this reason, we’ve developed a wonderful interactive to help people grasp the magnitude of costs involved in treating the human body, one part at a time.
The Brain Concussions are in the news frequently, but did you know they account for 6 percent of all emergency room visits in the U.S.? One of the standard ways of diagnosing a concussion is to run a CT scan, which for insured folks costs about $40 and for uninsured folks, $120. On the much higher end of things, brain surgery typically costs between $50,000 and $150,000. That’s nothing to sneeze, and possibly well-justified—after all, it’s quite an important part! The Arms Brains and brawn—those are the essentials, right? The most common problem with arms is they have a tendency to break. Broken bones account for several million emergency room visits each year in the U.S. The cost of treating one is about $200. If you’re uninsured, that jumps to more than $600. The Heart Contrary to popular opinion, the most common problem with hearts is not heartbreak caused by failed romances. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the cause of 1 in every 4 deaths in the U.S. Severe CHD requires complex intervention that involves grafting healthy arteries to blocked arteries. This sort of procedure typically costs more than $100,000 for someone who is uninsured. And what about the cost of a heart transplant? Go ahead and multiply that last number by ten—transplants cost nearly a million dollars. The Liver One in 10 Americans has some form of liver disease, accounting for about 30 million people. When liver disease leads to liver failure, a transplant is required. While significantly shy of the cost for a heart transplant, a liver transplant is no bargain. Estimates show a typical procedure costs $575,000. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it, how much certain parts of our body cost to maintain. If you take away anything from this, remember, a healthy lifestyle can go a long way towards preventing a lot of problems. And for those unexpected occasions when something goes wrong, make sure you have health insurance! To learn more about the Medical Billing & Coding Specialist program at Coyne College, click here.