Sickle CellAdvocacy Paper

United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC (2014) shows that it costs $11,702 to treat those children with SCD under Medicaid cover and $14,772 for those children under the employer-sponsored insurance. Combined, both groups had no less than one hospital stay. Furthermore, a research by Kauf, Coates, Huazhi, Mody-Patel and Hartzema (2009) estimates the median lifetime costs for people with SCD at $186,406 when discounted and $392,940 when undiscounted. Thus, the economic cost of SCD is a critical public health concern which makes paediatric SCD inaccessible. As such, this memo appeals to the Department of Health and Human Services to subsidise on the costs and take regulatory action that would promote paediatric SCD care initiatives that seek to increase access of the much needed paediatric SCD healthcare services.
The sickle cell disease would normally cause the red blood cells to harden and become sticky, adopting a C shape, thus its name from a similarly looking farm tool. With the sickle cells dying early, there would constantly be a shortage of red blood cells, causing severe pains, infections, organ damage or anaemia (MCHB, 2014). These complications make patients constantly seek for medical services. Even though the exact number of people living with the disease remains unknown, CDC (2014) estimates between 90,000 and 100,000 Americans to be affected. Of these, African-Americans are worst hit with 1 in every 500 newborns diagnosed with SCD. These are significant numbers going by the costs already associated with caring for patients with SCD. As noted by Kauf et al. (2009), the components of cost of care for SCD patients include the inpatient and emergency department, ED hospitalisation, having found out from their study that patients with SCD incur averagely one ED visit per patient year, 3.7 inpatient hospitalisations and about 24.1 hospital days. According to Raphael et al. (2013), placing children under high-acuity services such as