Tag Archives: cost of cancer care

Partial Fix for Unexpected Colonoscopy Charges

Some people who go in for a routine screening colonoscopy (fully covered by most insurance) can end up with a surprise bill of several hundred dollars, if the doctor detected and removed one or more polyps. Under current law, Medicare beneficiaries must pay a coinsurance when their screening colonoscopy also involves the removal of polyps or other tissue—because it is reclassified as a “treatment” procedure. Additionally, while current law also requires most private payers to cover colorectal cancer screenings without cost-sharing (copays/ coinsurance/ deductible), private payers have interpreted the rules differently. Some private payers waive cost- sharing when a screening involves the removal of polyps or other tissue; others do not.

Consumers Pay Lower Percentage of National Health Bill… But Many Families Hit Hard by High Deductibles

  Experts were surprised this week when the latest government survey showed that consumers actually paid a slightly smaller share of the nation’s total health bill in 2011, even though more people now pay higher deductibles. Total U.S. spending on health care grew 3.9% in 2011 (including all medical goods and services, public health, cost of health insurance, investments, and government costs). That equals 17.9% of Gross Domestic Product (the same as 2009 and 2010) or about $8,680 per person in the nation. Consumers paid just over one-quarter (28%) of total costs. Meanwhile, federal government health spending has risen more than three times as fast as consumer health spending since

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Will Not Offer Zaltrap

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center made a very public announcement—and explanation—today in a New York Times op-ed about why they will not offer the new drug Zaltrap® (ziv-aflibercept) to its metastatic colorectal cancer patients. The authors, all world-renowned cancer specialists at the world’s oldest cancer center, in an op-ed headlined “In Cancer Care, Cost Matters,” essentially challenged other cancer centers to take action where politicians fear to tread. “We recently made a decision that should have been a no-brainer,” wrote Drs. Peter B. Bach, Leonard B. Saltz and Robert E. Wittes. “The drug, Zaltrap, has proved to be no better than a similar medicine we already have for advanced colorectal cancer, while its price—at

Oldest of Old Americans Will Drastically Impact U.S. Cancer Care

The numbers are stark and will touch every single American. A picture of cancer in the greying American population was drawn in a recent study in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology examining trends in the National Cancer Institute’s population-based SEER data: The number of “oldest of the old” Americans (age 85 or older) will double between 2000 and 2030; and will have tripled by 2040 (from 4.3 million to 15.4 million). Cancer in the oldest old is the 2nd leading cause of death: More than 1 in 5 over age 85 will develop cancer. The total cost of cancer care will rise 39% in just 10 years, between 2010 and 2020—much of that

New Help with the Tough Struggle with Cancer Costs

Difficulty managing the cost of their cancer care stressed three out of four patients, according to a study recently completed by the Cancer Support Community.  In addition two out of three said their health care team didn’t discuss financial aspects of care with them. In an effort to help patients struggling with cancer expense, the Cancer Support Community has just released Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Coping with the Cost of Care. You can order a free print copy of the book, read sections online or download it.

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