Posted on November 19, 2014

Cost to Treat Ebola: $1 Million for Two Patients

Maggie Fox, NBC News, November 18, 2014

It cost more than $1 million to treat two patients sent to the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center, the hospital’s chancellor said Tuesday. And it’s still not clear who will pay the bill and how.

It’s the first on-the-record estimate of what it’s cost to treat Ebola patients in the United States. So far, 10 people have been treated on U.S. soil–most recently, Sierra Leonean Dr. Martin Salia, who died Monday in Nebraska.

“At UNMC, it has cost around $1.16 million to treat the two patients directed to us by the federal government. Treatment costs vary based on the severity of the patient when they arrive, but the cost is well beyond the normal costs incurred for an intensive care patient,” the school’s chancellor, Dr. Jeffrey Gold, said in prepared testimony for a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight subcommittee.

It cost about $30,000 a day to treat a single Ebola patient, Gold said. Ashoka Mukpo, the NBC camera operator, and Dr. Rick Sacra, the medical missionary, each stayed for about 18 days, Gold said. He said Emory University Hospital incurred similar costs in treating the four patients it took care of.