Cleft Palate Repair Costs the Same for Internationally Adopted Children
The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal – Since 2009, United States residents have adopted more children from China than any other country. Since China has a high prevalence of cleft lip and palate, some of these children require extra medical care early
Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal – Since
2009, United States residents have adopted more children from China than any
other country. Since China has a high prevalence of cleft lip and palate, some
of these children require extra medical care early in their lives. Many
prospective families are fearful of the treatment costs needed by a child
affected by cleft lip and palate. However, recent research suggests that the
costs are not nearly as high as previously thought.
conducted between 2010 and 2013 and published in The Cleft
Palate–Craniofacial Journal reviewed the records of 138 patients from the
Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania who underwent first-time cleft palate
repair. For the purposes of the study, 118 US-born children were surveyed
against 20 international adoptees, with payments to surgeons,
anesthesiologists, and the hospital compared between the two groups.
When analyzing the breakdown of payments made by
parents of children with cleft palates, they made a few surprising finds.
Twenty-six percent of US-born children were covered by Medicaid insurance, but
none of the adoptees were eligible. This resulted in the average adoptees’
payments being much higher as compared to the average payments for US-born
patients. However, the payment to anesthesiologists and the hospital were
actually lower for international adoptees. As a result, the total payment for
treatment was relatively similar for both groups.
Overall, the authors of the study concluded that
families considering adoption of a child with cleft palate should not be
concerned with incurring excessive costs for the child’s repair surgery. As
international adoptions and wait times have increased dramatically since the
mid-1990s, considering a child with a birth defect could expedite the process
of family placement and lead to more children in need finding a home.
Full text of the article, “Economic Analysis of
Cleft Palate Repair in International Adoptees,” The Cleft
Palate–Craniofacial Journal, Vol. 53, No. 5, 2016, are available at http://www.cpcjournal.org/doi/full/10.1597/14-227.