The Purpose Of This Survey

When a patient told us, earlier this month, that she was given a bill for $66,000 to cover the cost of her Interstim® device AFTER she was assured by her doctors office, the hospital and insurance company that it would be covered, it got our attention. As she said, she would never have agreed to having this form of treatment had she known that she was expected to cover such a large bill. We also realized that we've never seen an accurate discussion of the actual costs of short and long term sacral neuromodulation treatment.

The purpose of this survey is to determine the short and long term costs for patients who undergo sacral neuromodulation (aka Interstim Therapy) in the USA. With the rapid changes in health care coverage in the United States, we believe that it is important that patients have a clearer understanding of what the short and long term costs could be when considering this type of therapy. Thus, we are asking patients who have undergone this type of treatment for their best estimate of the costs, both to the insurance company and what they have paid out of pocket.

We're interested in learning about:

#1 - the costs of a trial implant
#2 - the costs of undergoing a permanent implant
#3 - the costs of reprogramming
#4 - the costs of device removal

Was it covered by your insurance? How much did you pay out of pocket? Was it more than you expected? Were you told that it was covered only to discover, after the fact, that it was not?

We would also be interested in seeing actual bills (with your name and identifying information removed) so that we can provide examples to patients so that they have an accurate understanding of what they are getting in to financially. YOu can remove all identifying information from bills before you share them with us.

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A note about your privacy - This survey does not require the submission of any personal, identifying information.

A. This survey has a section where you can share any personal stories you've had with billing, financial challenges, etc. etc. To protect your privacy, please do not use your name UNLESS you would like to be included in a future magazine article on this topic.

B. At the end of the survey, we do ask for your state so that we can look for regional trends in the costs of this procedure.

C. If you would like to be contacted in the future, you may also add your e-mail address, particularly if you have a story you would like shared with us. We may want to contact you for an interview. This is entirely optional.

Please help us gather this information.

- Jill H. Osborne MA
ICN President & Founder