How Much Does it Cost to Treat Depression?

How Much Does it Cost to Treat Depression?

Depression is increasingly widespread in the United States. In 2016 alone, 16.2 million adults experienced one or more depressive episodes – a number that correlates to 6.7% of adults in the nation. And it’s not just adults who suffer. In that same year, 3.1 million adolescents (aged 12 to 17), or 12.8% of that age bracket, had a major depressive episode.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 44% of adults with depression received treatment for it, as did 19% of the adolescents with a major depressive episode. Thirty-seven percent of adults with depression and 60% of adolescents with depression received no mental health treatment whatsoever.

From BCBS Health of America Report

Even with those high rates of non-treatment, the costs of treating depression are skyrocketing. An analysis of medical claims conducted by insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield found that “in 2016, Blue Cross plans spent $10,673 on those diagnosed with ‘major depression’ compared to $4,283 on those without a depression diagnosis.” What’s more, the trend is expected to continue. The rate of depression diagnosis for 18 to 34-year-old Blue Cross plan members increased from 3% in 2013 to 4.4% in 2016; for adolescent plan members it rose from 1.6% to 2.6% in the same time span.

That the Blue Cross plans spent $10,673 per member with depression in 2016 speaks nothing of the toll paid by the sufferers themselves – both financial and otherwise. Depression wreaks havoc on lives, and treatment can be a frustrating uphill battle of expensive trial and error. Many people are advised to pursue a combination of medications and cognitive behavioral therapy to manage their depression – both of which are typically cost-shared by the patient and the insurance payor.

Alpha-Stim is a noninvasive, handheld medical device that is FDA cleared and proven to treat depression by clinical study after clinical study.  It brings clinically significant, lasting results to 9 out of 10 users. But what makes it especially relevant in this time of skyrocketing medical costs is the return on investment.

The Alpha-Stim AID has a retail price of $795, and is covered by a five-year warranty and a 30-day return policy. The cost of accessories (Earclip Electrode Pads, Alpha Conducting Solution, and batteries) over a one-year period is $54. Over the course of five years, the comparison to the prices of common depression drugs shows how cost-effective Alpha-Stim is.

When considering other methods of treatment, Alpha-Stim still soars above the rest in terms of cost efficiency. The graph below compares Alpha-Stim AID costs to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). CBT costs include 15 sessions at $150 per session, for a total treatment cost of $2,250. TMS sessions cost between $400-500 for a total cost of about $15,000. Ten ECT sessions at $2,500 per session costs a total of $25,000.  (Graph of comparison)

Most importantly, Alpha-Stim’s cost savings don’t correlate to reduced quality of care. In fact, Alpha-Stim has been proven to be more effective than prescription drugs. After 6 weeks of depression treatment, Alpha-Stim users experienced 43% improvement, and 82% of participants reported a decrease of ≥ 50% or greater in depression scores.

Depression is a difficult enough battle without having to worry about its financial impact. So why not try the option that costs only a fraction of the others? Get started today! And if your physician hasn’t heard of Alpha-Stim, we are happy to help. Fill out this quick form and we’ll reach out with product and prescribing information, as well as our clinical research data.