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  • In 1954, doctors successfully transplanted the first human organ: a kidney taken from a patient's identical twin.

  • Today, around 20,000 kidneys are transplanted every year.

  • And based on estimates from one report, those transplants cost a total of more than $8 billion, and that's just for kidneys.

  • Factor in the 15,000 other organs transplanted each year, and you've got yourself a booming business.

  • Hospitals are in the business of saving lives.

  • Keyword here being "business,"

  • and organ transplants, well, they're a pretty great way to add to your bottom line.

  • Transplant centers are a

  • good revenue center for hospitals. There are some

  • departments in hospitals that don't make a lot of money.

  • That's absolutely true.

  • I'd be lying if I said, "Nah." It's true,

  • and then there's other departments in hospitals

  • including transplant that do tend to, yeah, be profitable for hospitals, absolutely.

  • According to a report

  • published by the consulting firm Milliman,

  • the average billed cost for a heart transplant

  • before insurance is an estimated $1.38 million,

  • and other organs, well, they're not much cheaper.

  • Around half of those costs come from what's called hospital transplant admission.

  • That includes room and board in the hospital

  • along with things like nursing care

  • and medication during your stay.

  • Now, for a heart transplant, which might require

  • something like two weeks of inpatient care,

  • hospital transplant admission adds up

  • to an average of nearly $900,000 a transplant.

  • Some doctors say these prices are so high

  • in part because the hospital's trying to make money.

  • Here's the dichotomy between

  • hospital interests and our interests as doctors and patient advocates.

  • That's Dr. Preben Brandenhoff.

  • He's a surgeon who specializes in heart and lung transplants.

  • The hospital, they just want to make money to run the hospital.

  • If you want to be really stone-cold,

  • they're not into taking care of patients.

  • But Dr. Brandenhoff says there's a reason

  • why transplants are so much more expensive than other procedures.

  • Take heart bypass surgery for example.

  • It can cost up to $130,000,

  • but that's just a fraction of the cost of a heart transplant.

  • To understand why, just consider what it takes to transplant an organ.

  • If the organ donor is deceased,

  • there's the expensive medication

  • to keep the organs healthy,

  • then there's the charted flights

  • to get the organs where they need to go.

  • If it is one of these

  • where I go to Hawaii and get the lungs

  • because from the time I have the lungs out

  • and ready to go, it'll be five hours going back to the mainland.

  • And then there's all the trained personnel.

  • So you may have 10 surgeons

  • in an operating room working, so it's huge.

  • And each of those surgeons is making a lot of money.

  • According to, the average base salary

  • for a heart transplant surgeon is

  • over $600,000 a year compared to, say, a trauma surgeon who makes under $400,000 a year.

  • And finally, there's even more expensive medication

  • to help the body accept the new organ.

  • It can cost somebody a couple thousand dollars

  • a month if they don't have insurance.

  • So by the time it's all tallied up,

  • a seven-figure transplant isn't all that surprising,

  • even though the organ might come for free.

  • And when you consider what you get for it,

  • you know, life, it might even be a pretty good deal.

In 1954, doctors successfully transplanted the first human organ: a kidney taken from a patient's identical twin.


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米国で臓器移植が高額な理由 (Why Organ Transplants Are So Expensive in the US)

  • 110 4
    Liang Chen に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日