Higher cancer care costs observed for uninsured patients

This article originally appeared here.
Share this content:
Higher Costs of Cancer Care Seen for Uninsured Patients
Higher Costs of Cancer Care Seen for Uninsured Patients

(HealthDay News) -- Uninsured patients may be charged anywhere from two to 43 times what private insurance plans or Medicare pay for chemotherapy medications, a new study estimates. Researchers said the findings, reported in the April issue of Health Affairs, highlight a fundamental inequity.

Stacie Dusetzina, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health, and colleagues used the new Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data Public Use File and other sources to analyze what doctors charged for chemotherapy drugs in 2012. The authors compared the charges with what Medicare and large private insurers actually paid for those drugs.

On average, the researchers found, Medicare paid only 40 percent of what doctors charged for chemo, while private insurers paid 56 percent. People without insurance, however, could face whatever the doctor's office billed them. And those prices would likely stretch far beyond what most could pay, according to the researchers.

For example, the typical charge for the chemo drug oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) was more than $6,700 for one infusion, the researchers found. Medicare actually paid around $3,000, while private insurers paid $3,600, on average. Even office visits were pricey for uninsured cancer patients. They faced charges ranging from $129 to $391. Medicare, meanwhile, paid $65 to $188, and private insurers paid $78 to $246 for the same services.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs