Little Hearts Hold Big Price Tags-

January 19, 2010

Congenital Heart Defects are among the most costly diagnosis for children. The highest average hospital charges accrued for infants were those with hypoplastic left heart and common truncus arteriosus, followed by coarctation of the aorta and transposition of the great arteries, according to a CDC study published in the January 19, 1997 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. (

In the first 7 days of his life, my son, Nicholas, experienced 3 different hospitals, his first helicopter ride and open heart surgery, all to a tune of nearly $100,000. It only took nine months of discussions with the insurance company to get them to cover the majority of our expenses.

Jodi Lemacks, President of Mended Little Hearts, was not so lucky. Her experience is representative of many families dealing with the financial devastation resulting from treatment of┬ácongenital heart defects. Jodi’s incredible journey has been documented by The Washington Post, in conjunction with the Kaiser Foundation, found here:

Mended Little Hearts advocates for accessible, affordable, and adequate health care, providing the voice for the littlest heart patients of all. We partner with other organizations to address the need for insurance reform including elimination of lifetime caps, elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions and elimination of balanced billing. We are winning the battle.

If you would like more information about Mended Little Hearts and health care reform, or how to get more involved with advocacy, please contact


Amy B.

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