Cancer patients paying more money for treatment - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Cancer patients paying more money for treatment

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Patients and their insurance companies are paying more money for cancer treatments, as hospitals buy oncology practices and raise fees.

Beverly Brown, a breast cancer patient, says her chemotherapy bills have increased from about $6,000 every three weeks, to $15,000 for the same time. "I almost died because I thought, 'What are they doing for me? Why are you charging me this much money'"?

Experts say hospitals and doctors now have more combined power to negotiate higher reimbursements, however some insurers are pushing back.

Dr. Donald Fischer, Highmark Chief Medical Officer, said, "We said enough. A drug is a drug is a drug. We are not going to pay differently depending on where that drug is given."

Hospitals defend the charges, saying they must adhere to more strict regulations.

The National Cancer Institute predicts cancer treatment to go up another 27 percent in the next six years.

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