Ebola Victim Thomas Eric Duncan's 9-Day Treatment Cost Hospital Estimated $500K and He Had No Insurance

(Photo: Reuters/Mike Stone)A general view of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, October 1, 2014. U.S. health experts in Dallas on Wednesday were examining how many people may have been exposed to Ebola, just one day after the first case of the deadly virus was diagnosed in the United States, the nation's top public health official said.

The nine-day treatment of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan who died at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday cost the hospital an estimated $500,000 and he had no insurance to cover the charges.

The New Haven Register reported that the hospital is also unlikely to collect on the bill.

According to the report, since his isolation at the hospital on Sept. 28 Duncan was in critical condition. As a part of his treatment, he was placed on a ventilator, received experimental drugs and had kidney dialysis.

There is also the cost of security and the disposal of Ebola-contaminated trash and equipment for caregivers.

Dan Mendelson, chief executive officer of Avalere Health, a consulting firm in Washington, told the Register the charges for indirect costs, such as the disruption of other areas of hospital care, and Duncan's bill would fall somewhere in the ballpark of $500,000.

According to Gerard Anderson, health policy professor at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, Duncan's care is likely to have cost the hospital some $18,000 to $24,000 daily and had suggested shortly before his death that the hospital could write off the charges as charity.

Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and the Liberian embassy in Washington declined to say who would foot the Ebola victim's medical bill before he died.

Missionary workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol who got infected while working with Ebola patients in Liberia both survived after they were brought back to the United States for treatment.

The Register noted that both missionaries were covered under health insurance plans. Brantly's treatment was covered by health insurance provided by the charity Samaritan's Purse, while Writebol's treatment and evacuation from Liberia was covered by group health and workers' compensation insurance plans offered by North Carolina-based missionary group SIM.

Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

"It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan at 7:51 a.m. Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing. We have offered the family our support and condolences at this difficult time," said a statement from Texas Health Resources shortly after his death Wednesday.

(Photo: Facebook)Thomas Eric Duncan.
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