Marathon Medical Costs Likely In the Millions

Experts are saying medical costs for severely injured victims could be around $50,000 each.

Medical costs

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In the days since the Boston Marathon attacks, a lot of attention has (rightfully) been given to how amazing our city’s medical community is. The thing no one wants to think about, however, is how costly that amazing medical care could be for the injured victims.

According to early approximations from NBC, the total medical bills from the attack could come in at around a staggering $9 million, not counting the 100 or so people who were admitted to hospitals and quickly released Monday. The NBC article points out that it’s difficult to get a full picture of medical costs now since the care will continue for many patients for months, but that by looking at similar incidents experts can begin to predict the final figure.

The NBC article breaks the expenses down by person with the help of Ted Miller of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation:

“It’s probably on the magnitude of $40,000, $50,000 (per person for emergency-room care). But for the people who will be hospitalized for weeks, you could easily be looking at $150,000 to $200,000 per person,” he said.

For those who have lost limbs, prosthetics are pricey: $14,187 for a partial foot, $16,690 for a lower leg, and $45,563 for a full leg, according to a 2010 report by the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development.

To have to pay astronomical medical bills on top of a life-changing trauma seems very unfair, but fortunately there is a chance victims won’t have to bear the full brunt of the costs. Massachusetts’ mandatory health insurance may help some local patients, and the money raised by the One Fund, which has already received sizable donations from big-name companies like John Hancock, TD Bank, Major League Baseball, and Dunkin’ Donuts, will soften the blow as well.

The NBC article also discusses the possibility of hospitals or insurance companies eating some of the costs as a courtesy to patients (a possibility that hospitals have neither agreed to nor denied at this point). Since we likely won’t know for a while if patients are pardoned for some or all of their medical bills, donating to the One Fund is the easiest, surest way to make a difference. And it looks like it really will make a difference. Sunday night, Mayor Tom Menino tweeted this picture of just a small portion of all the donations the One Fund has received.