View Full Version : Costs of Diagnosis and Treatment (+Intro)

10-16-06, 02:01 PM

I'm 34 years old and about 4 days ago for the first time I looked over the description of ADD and realized that it described me. After taking a bunch of the "tests" and looking at more lists of symptoms and character traits associated with ADD (inattentive, maybe limbic) I am interested in getting a diagnosis, and if the doctors agree that it is present, treatment.

I do not have medical insurance. To be brutally honest, based on my track record I doubt my capabilities to pay for medical insurance consistently. My work history is very spotty and I am currently living at home helping to take care of a family member with a critical illness. For these reasons I am reluctant to sign up with a health insurance provider and then file a claim for ADD healthcare costs.

I am not broke nor particularly close to it but since all costs will be out of pocket and I have very little income right now I want to get an idea of what the costs will be before I take my next step. Apparently psychiatrists are the specialists to see for Adult ADD. I have only found one clinic that is open with the prices they charge. It is ~600 for an ADD evaluation and ~1000 for an evaluation and a test dose. Are these prices standard? I am in the southeast if that makes a difference.

I am also interested to learn what the approximate cost per day of the various medications are. Obviously this depends on dosage so I'm not looking for exact figure just an idea, like, $1/day or whatever it is. My experience with doctors and filling prescriptions is very limilted so my questions may seem absurdly basic but they confuse me. For some of these medications (Adderall) you have to go back to the doctor to get a new prescription every month and even with the others regular visits with the doctor are necessary to maintain the prescription. Is that right? What do these visits cost? I've been known to pick up and move across the country. If I do this in the future will I need to get another ADD evaluation? Will the new state honor the prescription from my previous home? Any other costs I'm not aware of?

Thank you for any help. The last few days have been a relief and a shock at the same time and I am still struggling to plan an appropriate course. The amount of money involved is surprising, not to mention ironic considering how common underachievement is. The relevant supplements alone (High quallity EPA Omega fats, L-tyrosine, and DLPA) probably add up to a few dollars a day. I don't exactly have a history of prudent financial planning but I am concerned that not making the right decisions here will break me.

10-16-06, 03:22 PM
Hello there, and best of luck with your journey. DS was diagnosed by a psychologist (he was referred by his GP) and it was cash out of pocket. He charged 300 total for the eval, interview, review of the reports we brought back from ourselves and his teachers, etc, testing on the computer, etc. I thought he was very thorough and took a good amount of time and care with the process. Before we did this, though, we had a thorough eval with his GP, who did labwork, a good physical, etc to rule out any other condition that could mimic or contribute to his symptoms, which can actually be many, from thyroid to sleep apnea to name a couple for you. I don't know the actual cash cost for that though. Then, when he started the Dore program, they did another type of evaluation leaning more toward looking for learning disabilites, etc, and that one cost 1500 cash. Sooooooo. You should be able to do some phone shopping, as I would expect many places to be able to give you a good estimate if they know you are paying cash.

10-16-06, 03:46 PM
I would start making Phone calls, Phone calls, Phone calls! There should be at least one or two social service organizations that can help you. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my husband was the poster child for adult ADD, but didn't act right away out of concern for money issues. Foolish me! The long term money issues (i.e. loss of many years adequate income due to ADD problems) is MUCH larger than any initial diagnosis and treatment cost.

I found a small, local, privately owned therapy facility that met with us about our family/ relationship/ alcohol/ financial problems, all of which stem from his ADD. We payed them cash for a single one hour appt. for starters. They know our financial crisis and only charged $30. We then got a referral to a family physician for diagnosis. This was a cash call of $80. This physician gave my husband trial meds for 2 weeks at no cost.

Depending on the outcome of your assessment, most pharmaceutical companies offer lower cost or free meds to patients requiring their meds with low incomes and no insurance. Just visit the website corresponding to the medication (i.e. ELI Lilly or other) and search until you find something similar to "patient programs" they can be well-hidden, but keep looking!

There is no good reason in this day and age that a good family practitioner/ general M.D, cannot assess you for treatment. Just ask when you call up doctors' offices if they can do ADD assessment and treatment.

Best of Luck!;)

10-20-06, 06:02 AM
The cost can very greatly as you can tell so I think the calling around is a good idea. Some family doctors are comfortable diagnosing and treating ADD some are not. If you happen to have a regular doctor that would be a good place to begin asking questions.

The medication prescription questions would depend greatly upon the medication you are prescribed. When my daughter was in Ohio with my sister for a couple of months they would fill her Effexor, and Depokaote prescriptions from an out of state prescription transfer but her schedule two which includes all stimulant meds like Concerta, Adderall ect I had to have filled in the state they were written in(Texas) and send the prescription already filled to her in Ohio.