Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition where inflammation of the joints occur. The disease is autoimmune in nature and without the proper treatment the condition can cause irreversible and progressive lifelong joint damage, leading to functional impairment. The pain and discomfort associated with rheumatoid arteritis can severely impact the quality of life of the patient.
The Cost For Individuals With Rheumatoid Arthritis
The cost of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis will expand with the progression of the condition and its duration. Chief among these is the cost associated with work disability. To the Australian health system, rheumatoid arthritis was estimated to have cost $129 million in 1993- 94. The figure then went up to $249 million in 2000- 01. The cost profile included expenses incurred by public and private hospitals, along with nursing homes, medical treatment, diagnostic testing as well as the cost of drugs and pharmaceuticals involved.
On an individual level, rheumatoid arthritis patients had to face out of pocket expenses averaging at $ 1,513 per year. The maximum out of pocket expense incurred for patients in a year came to $20, 527 while the minimum was observed at $49.
These costs are linked to effectively managing the condition along with related symptoms. Depending on the severity of the condition, the main concern for rheumatoid arthritis patients is effectively regulating painful symptoms to maximise their mobility and function. Timely disease modifying therapy can assist in preserving function and independence for individuals. This measure can incur heavy financial strain on rheumatoid arthritis patients when looking for pain relieving medications, drugs, injections or other options.
Typically, rheumatoid arthritis patients also have to face higher charges related to in hospital care and drugs, diagnostic testing such as imaging and other medical services. These associated costs will increase with the duration of the condition as there will be the need for changing medication, purchase assistive aides, have more testing done and visiting different health practitioners. The health status of the individual will also determine the nature of out of pocket costs involved.
Typically female patients have been observed to have higher treatment expenses than their male counterparts.
The majority of the costs were for paying for prescription medication and female patients also ended up paying more for assistive devices than male rheumatoid arthritis patients.
At the same time younger rheumatoid arthritis patients, those younger than 65, also incurred more treatment expenses than the older patients. Patients in the younger age group were observed to have spent more on prescription medication while older patients paid more for professional visits.
Different variables in the cost profile for rheumatoid arthritis patients showed that out of pocket expenses increased with the progression of the condition and decline in health. Those patients who had a pension status found themselves spending less while others who held private health insurance found themselves paying more out of pocket costs. Patients who had to burden the finances personally reported treatment costs impacting their family and friendships while others who received assistance from family and friends were somewhat relieved of the financial burden.
Fundraising For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can have a difficult time paying for medication and treatment. As many patients are diagnosed at a older age, financial constrains can be a huge barrier to accessing proper treatment.
For loved ones who have taken the role as a caretaker for a person with rheumatoid arthritis, the cost of maintaining treatment can also be difficult. Families can choose to start an online fundraiser to help pay for the medical expenses that can accumulate over time.
The first step is to create your online fundraiser. There are many services available to help you run your fundraiser online, however only one fundraising website runs free of charge for the fundraiser. This means there are no cost to starting or running your fundraiser as compared to other services which can charge up to 10 percent.
After you create your fundraiser online and are happy with the photos and content of the page, you can start running the fundraiser for 30 to 60 days. Simply share the URL link to your fundraiser to family and friends. Using social networking websites, email, sms and even word of mouth are effective ways to get your fundraiser out there. Online fundraisers can also help boost any community fundraising events you may want to do.
By creating an online fundraiser for a loved one and sharing this fundraiser online to family, friends and other contacts you are connected with, you can easily start raising funds to help cover the cost of rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
1) Living with rheumatoid arthritis: expenditures, health status, and social impact on patients: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1754210/pdf/v061p00818.pdf
3) One in five arthritis sufferers miss out on pain relief- survey: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3607139.htm