Medical Care For Dallas Ebola Patient May Cost $500,000 | KERA News

Medical Care For Dallas Ebola Patient May Cost $500,000

Oct 8, 2014

Five stories that have North Texas talking: the cost of caring for a patient with Ebola, transportation officials try to find a Plan B to fund the Trinity Parkway, early birds catch the “blood moon”, and more.

The cost of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan’s care may be up to $500,000, a report from Bloomberg News estimates. Duncan is in critical condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He’s been in isolation since Sept. 28, and he’s currently on a ventilator, receiving kidney dialysis, and being treated with an experimental drug.

The cost of those treatments, as well as security, disposal of hazardous waste, and equipment to protect healthcare workers will eventually bring the bill to $500,000, plus other indirect costs.

“If they recognize that he has no money they will clearly just write it off as charity care,” Gerard Anderson, a health policy professor at Johns Hopkins University, said.

Texas Health Presbyterian and the Liberian Embassy in Washington did not comment on who would pay for Duncan’s care. “It’s too early to make a decision about payment of bills,” Gabriel Williams with the Liberian Embassy said. “The focus is on his health.”

  • Officials are working on a backup plan to fund the controversial Trinity Parkway. The Dallas Morning News reports the North Central Texas Council of Governments will ask the council for permission to lobby to the state for permission to build the road through a private partner. The estimated cost to build the toll road, which would run alongside the Trinity River, jumped from about $394 million in 1998 to $1.5 billion today. Dallas currently has $77 million stored away for the project.
  • Did you catch the “blood moon” this morning? Early rising North Texans may have caught the total lunar eclipse, which was visible about at about 5:45 a.m. The blood-red color is formed when the moon ducks into the Earth’s shadow during an eclipse.
  • The National Veterans Wheelchair Games will be coming to Dallas in 2015. The Wheelchair Games is a sports competition for military veterans who have been wheelchair bound due to spinal cord injuries, amputations, and other conditions. The city will host the 35th annual Wheelchair Games for five days, starting June 21.
  • It’s opening night for the 27th annual Dallas VideoFest. The two-week festival celebrates the best in independent filmmaking. Tonight will kick off with “The Lodger: The Story of London Fog.” The 1927 film was one of Alfred Hitchcock’s earlier silent films. The movie will also feature live accompaniment by the Dallas Chamber Orchestra. Get your tickets here.