How Much Does Iron Infusion Cost?
Iron infusion refers to a liquid dose of iron given through an IV. The procedure is typically done on patients with iron deficiency, a condition in which iron levels are low and pills are not sufficient to keep with iron loss. Iron is extremely important; your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. A lack of iron can result in anemia. Three of the most commonly used solutions for intravenous iron therapy are iron dextran, iron sucrose, and sodium ferric gluconate.
How much does it cost?
- At a doctor’s office or treatment center, plan on budgeting around $300 to $600 per round of iron infusion.
- According to a forum thread on the website ObesityHelp.com, some users claimed that they had to pay around $200 to $600 per infusion.
- Many treatments are done in cycles. For example, you may receive an infusion once a week for three weeks, and then your levels should stay level enough for about 18 months. The price range of three rounds of iron infusion would be $900 or $1800, which needs to be paid about every year and a half.
What is going to be included?
- The process of infusing intravenous iron involves placing an IV bag and a bag of fluid containing iron in dissolved form and draining the contents into the patient’s veins. Often conducted in a hospital or doctor’s office, the procedure may take up to several hours, depending on the type of treatment the doctor has recommended. Iron infusion is often performed over the course of several doctor visits until the patient’s iron levels are corrected.
- Intravenous iron is considered generally safe although the drug preparation can result to severe reactions in some individuals. The procedure is typically conducted when a patient is experiencing too much iron loss and his body is not able to absorb iron taken by mouth. Iron loss usually occurs in people suffering from cancer, anemia, an inflammatory bowel disease with extreme iron deficiency, and end-stage renal disorder on dialysis.
- Intravenous iron comes in three types of preparations: Iron dextran, Iron sucrose, and Ferric Gluconate.
What are the extra costs?
- Testing. Before intravenous iron therapy is recommended, a patient will need to undergo a series of tests to find out if he has iron deficiency. The tests may include testing for blood in the stool, determining if there are abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract, testing the urine for blood or hemoglobin, and for women, looking for abnormal or increased menstrual blood loss.
- Medications. Some patients experience pain and allergic reactions 1 to 2 days after IV iron infusion therapy, most often with Iron dextran. These patients are often prescribed with NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Factors that influence the price:
- Number of infusions. In many cases, the total cost of intravenous iron therapy is affected by the number of IV infusions performed, which is often dependent on the patient’s condition and reaction to the therapy.
- Facility fees. Iron infusion can be done in the office of a medical professional or in a hospital. In several instances, having the procedure done in a hospital incurs higher fees because of the use of their facilities and services.
- Testing. Tests are often done on patients recommended for intravenous iron infusion to ensure that their system is capable of absorbing the drug preparation without developing complications. Screenings often add to the overall cost of IV iron infusion therapy.
Tips to know:
- Intravenous iron has an advantage over other types of iron infusion since experts recognize it as an option that causes less gastrointestinal pain and discomfort.
- Of the three basic and commonly used types of intravenous iron, sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose (Ferrlecit), or iron sucrose (Venofer) are regarded as safer than iron dextran, although reactions can still occur.
- Side effects of intravenous iron include blood clots, fever, headache, malaise, joint aches, and rashes. Iron toxicity (too much iron) symptoms include nausea, dizziness and a sudden decrease in blood pressure.
- Intravenous iron therapy may be suitable for some pregnant women. But they must meet the requirements and are in a pregnancy period where the therapy is safe for them, in addition to being able to comply with other factors.
- The amount of iron that you take may be different depending on your circumstances. For example, women who are pregnant need to get more iron, as would someone who has lost a lot of blood or is going through a growth spurt.
How can I save money?
- Having insurance cover iron infusion can lower the cost of the overall procedure. Many insurance companies shoulder the expenses, with their patients paying around 20%. If you do not have insurance or you are looking to potentially switch your policy, consider browsing through hundreds of policies at eHealthInsurance.com.
- Medicare is likely to cover the iron sucrose injection Venofer and its administration when it is used for its approved indications.