Patients, insurers at odds with hospitals over cost of cancer tr - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Patients, insurers at odds with hospitals over cost of cancer treatments

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

Beverly Brown, a breast cancer patient, says her chemotherapy bills have more than doubled to about $15,000 for just three weeks of treatment.

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

Cancer patient Beverly Brown explained "I almost died because I thought, 'what are they doing for me?' Why are you charging me this much money?"

"We said enough. A drug is a drug is a drug.,” Dr. Donald Fischer stated. “We are not going to pay differently depending on where that drug is given."

Hospitals defend the charges saying they must follow stricter regulations, which drives up costs.

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

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