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.
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 that results in both direct and indirect costs. 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.
There’s a solution to this health care cost
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, 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. Alpha-Stim will not be an economic burden.
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.