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25 most expensive conditions

Nearly 25 percent of Ohioans covered by Medicaid account for almost 75 percent of its cost. In 2001, the state spent nearly $18 million on just these 25 people. The list includes only the most expensive case for each condition. People are not identified for privacy reasons.
  Disease or disability Cost
1 Two or more severe diseases or conditions 1,819,718
2 Immune system disease 1,338,294
3 A severe disease and one other disease  1,288,866
4 Two chronic diseases 1,252,720
5 Living on a ventilator 1,147,642
6 Fed entirely by tube. 938,368
7 Vegetative state 907,181
8 Breathing through a surgically placed tube 889,052
9 Hemophilia, blood clotting disorders 866,301
10 Heart failure with chronic pneumonia  784,483
11 Advanced Leukemia (lymphoid) 624,540
12 Advanced Leukemia (non-lymphoid) 543,205
13 Schizophrenia and one other disease 502,462
14 Low birth-weight, premature baby  498,234
15 Stroke and at least two other diseases 451,437
16 Major organ transplant 423,528
17 Partial to full paralysis from birth defects. 414,913
18 Leukemia (non-lymphoid) 402,087
19 Major lung disease 395,480
20 Lymphoma cancer (non Hodgkin's) 392,586
21 Stroke and one other disease 385,926
22 Muscular Dystrophy 373,230
23 Cerebral Palsy  365,644
24 Heart failure with weakened arteries, one other disease 336,195
25 Cancers effecting white blood cells 333,563
  Total: 17,675,655
  Source: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services  
Back to Extreme Choices

In Their Own Words
Three parents speak out on how their child's situation affects various aspects of their lives. Hear their stories in their own words.
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Listen to these mothers' advice for other families:
Barb Steele
Debbie Martin
Melissa Hahn

Photo Galleries
A Photographer's Journal
Enquirer photographer Michael Keating tells the story of these families through his own words and photos.

The Hahn Family
Melissa and Randy Hahn are dealing with a daughter that has extensive brain damage, epilepsy and a seizure condition.

Your Choice
These situations are hypothetical, yet drawn from real experiences. What would you choose?

You are a physician, free to accept or refuse anyone as a patient. Do you treat someone who has a low-paying job that does not proved health insurance coverage?
You make the choice.

How much care should your critically ill newborn receive?

How do you pay when your insurance runs out?

You're a legislator. Where do you spend the money?

Did You Know?
Ohio hasn't increased its payments to doctors seeing Medicaid patients in three years, but nursing homes get automatic increases every year. It's state law. Nursing home costs increased 31 percent in five years to $2.2 billion, making it the health care program's single biggest expense in 2001.