WASHINGTON, October 9 (RIA Novosti) – The final medical bill for a Liberian native who was the first person to test positive for Ebola in the United States could range from $250,000 to as much as $500,000, a Washington D.C. health think tank analyst told RIA Novosti.
“It’s hard for hospitals to deal with these kinds of outlier situations,” said Dan Mendelson, the Chief Executive Officer of Avalere Health. “In the case of Ebola, there are the treatment costs, but also the costs of security, isolation.”
Another high cost that comes along with Ebola is disposing contaminated trash and equipment used to treat the patient.
Thomas Eric Duncan died fighting the disease at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday where he was admitted for treatment on September 28.
Avalere Health further estimated that the average cost per day for treating a patient with an infectious disease is about $10,000 and that the average cost of treatment in the intensive care unit is roughly $14,000.
It is still not clear if the Dallas hospital will charge Duncan, and if they decide to do so, who will pay for it.
Secretary of State John Kerry urged the international community Wednesday to contribute more money to the Ebola response effort in West Africa. He said that although the region has had a lot of financial help already, that Ebola is a very costly disease that requires a lot of resources such as treatment units, test labs, medical evacuation capacity and technical support.
“The fact is more countries can and must step up in order to make their contributions felt,” said Kerry during a press briefing.