Suboxone Cost: For Medication and Treatment?
I’ve talked to other suboxone doctors and looked at what suboxone clinics are charging on the web. First, find the suboxone doctor you like to see for treatment. The first thing to consider is whether or not your doctor. Many insurance companies are beginning to cover at least part of both the doctor visit and the medication. I do not prefer to take insurance for Suboxone treatment. I do not feel that the reimbursement by insurance companies is adequate. If I were to take insurance, instead of seeing 2-3 patients per hour, I would need see 4-5 patients per hour and I would need to have more employees (I’ve done this in the past and it ends up not being good for me or the patients). This is not the type of treatment I wish to provide. To me, the visit is more than writing out a prescription. There is a lot more work that happens outside the patient visit: communicating with other providers, checking labs, communicating with family members, reviewing records, patient phone calls, etc. In addition, I believe that a patient needs to have “skin in the game” to participate in treatment. When they pay with their hard earned money, they participate more, attend all appointments, and have a sense of ownership over changing things in their life. I think the same could be said for other medical illnesses. I’ve seen plenty of diabetics, smokers, and those with high blood pressure that simply have no motivation to change their diet, exercise, or stressors. They simply show up for a pill. This is not everyone, but it is much more the rule than the exception.
Physicians can set their rates. Generally, I would say that paying over $400 per hour would be too much. In 2011, the general cash rates will be around $300 (1 hour)–$600 (2 hours) for an initial evaluation. These numbers are on the high end. $200-$400 for induction on Suboxone (2 hours). Follow up visits average around $125-$225. I’ll give you a comparison. I had to go to an ENT a few months ago for an evaluation for a problem. The visit was about 20 minutes, no labs or tests, and my insurance was billed about $400 of which I paid half. That is $1600 per hour. I prefer to keep things simple for myself and my patients and charge a flat fee of $350 per hour. I like to charge $350 for the initial evaluation, $200 for the induction, and $150 for followup appointments. Cash only. We will help the patient bill their insurance.
The suboxone cost itself is another matter. I’ve seen some insurances cover most of the cost with a $50 co-pay and others not cover it at all. It is something to check with your insurance about (if you want them to know at all). The cost can vary as much as double for medication from pharmacy to pharmacy so it is worth calling around. I think a ballpark cost is around $2.50 per pill, and many will need two pills per day. The maker of Suboxone: Reckitt Benckiser has a medication support program. I believe this is only for the Suboxone strips and no longer the pills. I will be looking into this later and writing a post.
Many are looking for information on subutex doctors. In a previous blog, I noted that Suboxone is a combination drug with buprenorphine and naloxone. Subutex is the buprenorphine alone. Naloxone helps prevent the misuse of the buprenorphine. I have only needed to use Subutex once (patient had a rash from Suboxone), and as a rule, I avoid it’s use. Now you are able to get Subutex generic.
The overall cost of suboxone (buprenorphine) treatment is expensive. The cost of the medication alone averages around $150 per month for most people. The initial evaluation and induction will cost around $700. Physicians vary in the frequency of initial visits. Follow up visits: I like to have 2 the first week, 1 per week for a few weeks, then 1 every two weeks until stable . After that, once per month is things are going well. I don’t see patients less than once per month because things end up not going well. Based on this, the follow up visit cost will be $2400 for the first 12 months. The total for medication: $1800; All Physician visits 1st year: $3100. The total is almost $5000. There will be some initial lab exams and the cost of these vary wildly. However, insurance will usually cover this cost. You should know that this is comparable, if not less, than methadone treatment; and Subxone treatment is more available and convenient. (Except the overall cash price of methadone treatment will usually be less due to government subsidies.) Finally, in my experience, the cost is less than half of the actually using illegal narcotics, and this is just in acquiring the pills. There is a cost associated with missed work, unemployment, and legal problems.
- Stigma and value of counseling | Suboxone Talk Zone: A Suboxone Blog – In fact, opioid dependence has become the second leading cause of death for young adults in many parts of the country, and if you look at the cost of buprenorphine over a denominator consisting of the number of lives saved by the …
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