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Mended Little HeartGuide

Introduction Contents SECTION Financial Considerations During the Hospital Stay You may be wondering, “Why would I want to think about financial considerations now? I am focused on my child in the hospital. I’ll worry about that later. Financial information will just give me more stress than I already have.” That is a valid point, and you do need to focus on your son or daughter, but many of us who have been through a hospitalization with our child wish that we had known some of this information earlier. It could have actually reduced stress and saved us some money too. Regardless of their socio-economic status, families of children with CHD are financially impacted when their child requires surgeries or other medical interventions. They are not only faced with medical costs but also normal financial obligations, such as mortgage payments, household expenses and childcare for their other children. Many have to make lifestyle changes such as changing or quitting a job and reducing expenses. This impacts the entire family. Although costs involved in having a child with CHD are often unpredictable, planning for these expenses as early as possible can help your family stay financially healthy throughout your child’s hospital stay and CHD treatment. Obviously, having a child in the hospital incurs medical costs, but many people don’t realize that there are other costs involved as well. Understanding what these additional expenses are and becoming familiar with the resources available to you can help. Here are some tips for reducing and managing the cost of a hospital stay: About My Child’s Heart Table of Gas and Parking Gas and parking costs can add up if you are driving to and from the hospital regularly. If your child will be in the hospital for an extended period, you may want to consider public transit or carpool options. Your hospital may also have rooms where you can stay from time to time to reduce the amount of driving you’ll need to do. If you travel to another city or state for your child’s hospital stay and are staying near the hospital, there may be shuttles or other forms of transportation that are free or less expensive than gas and parking. There is often a parking discount available for parents and family members of hospitalized children. Ask your hospital social worker about this as soon as possible. Lodging If you are traveling to another city or state for your child’s surgery, you’ll likely need to pay for accommodation. Extended family members who are traveling to be with you during this time might also need a place to stay. Here are a few options that can save you money: • Ronald McDonald Houses: In many cities, Ronald McDonald Houses, hospitality houses or other facilities are available for the immediate family of children in the hospital if the family lives more than a certain distance away (typically 30 to 50 miles). Ask your hospital social worker about this as soon as you find out that you will be in another city for your child’s hospital stay. In many cases, you will need to let them know that you are coming ahead of time to get your name on a list for a room. The cost Go To 58


Mended Little HeartGuide
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