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Insurers Push Back Against Growing Cost Of Cancer Treatments

Patient gets chemotherapy in North Carolina in 2003 (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images).

Patient gets chemotherapy in North Carolina in 2003 (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images).

by Julie Appleby KHN Staff Writer
Kaiser Health News Jun 17, 2014
This KHN story also ran in The Daily Beast

Some cancer patients and their insurers are seeing their bills for chemotherapy jump sharply, reflecting increased drug prices and hospitals’ push to buy oncologists’ practices and then bill at higher rates.

Patients say, “‘I’ve been treated with Herceptin for breast cancer for several years and it was always $5,000 for the drug and suddenly it’s $16,000 -- and I was in the same room with the same doctor same nurse and the same length of time’,” said Dr. Donald Fischer, chief medical officer for Highmark, the largest health plan in Pennsylvania.

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