Expenses associated with cancer treatment can turn your life into a living nightmare. The cost of cancer treatment varies widely, largely depending on the type of cancer, stage, and location of the condition. Here are the main factors that affect costs associated with cancer treatment. Read on to learn more about the costs involved in cancer treatment and how to find the best price. If you or a loved one is undergoing treatment for cancer, make sure to get a detailed estimate of the total costs.
MarketScan, a health information database, summarizes the costs of care for patients with common cancers. MarketScan, which is available to hospitals and insurers, includes a large database of private insurance claims. The data includes spending for the 15 most common cancer types, including breast, prostate, lung, lymphoma, colorectal cancer, and colon cancer. Excess costs per patient varied, but they ranged from US$50 to US$150 per month.
A MarketScan study of privately insured cancer patients found that laboratory tests and pathology services accounted for the majority of total costs. The three most expensive cancers were breast, lung, and colorectum. Diagnostic tests and laboratory services accounted for most of the spending, but additional research is needed to determine whether the cost is reflective of the care that patients receive. Further, the marketScan study did not identify the causes of increased costs, or whether they are simply a function of rising drug prices.
Hospital and physician fees
The costs of treatment for various types of cancer vary greatly and may even exceed $20,000 per person per year. The American Cancer Society estimates that cancer treatment costs total more than $4 billion annually. While these figures may be conservative, they still provide an idea of the cost to an individual. This is not surprising considering that cancer treatment requires complex, long-term treatments. The most expensive cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, are those requiring multiple visits to the doctor and extensive testing and diagnosis.
In addition to physician and hospital fees, other costs associated with cancer treatment may include autopsies, funeral services, obituaries, death certificates, and the settlement of an estate or property claim. Fortunately, most health insurance policies cover some of these costs. Although most medical services are covered by insurance, many plans require patients to make co-payments. Additionally, many tests and procedures may require out-of-pocket payments, which can be difficult to manage when undergoing cancer treatment.
MarketScan’s latest study shows that nonphysician services are responsible for nearly half of cancer treatment costs. The analysis included data from patients diagnosed with 15 types of cancer. The services were subdivided by type, with the most common types being breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. The study also accounted for medical supplies and nonphysician services. It shows that nonphysician services are the most expensive of the cancer-related expenses.
The study involved 1525 individuals (weighted to be nationally representative) with cancer. Patients who reported cost discussions were significantly less likely to be unaware of what the costs are. Out-of-pocket spending was lower for those who reported discussing costs with providers. Nonphysician services for cancer treatment cost reduction was more pronounced among patients who were younger and non-Hispanic. Although the study is limited by the small sample size, it shows the importance of comprehensive discussions with cancer care providers.
The cost of cancer treatments can easily run into the millions of dollars. Insurance providers, Medicare, and Medicaid all contribute to the costs of cancer care, and patients often report financial hardship due to the cost. In addition, patients of color and younger adults are often left with limited options due to the high costs of cancer treatments. Because of these challenges, researchers and industry leaders are working on new ways to reduce these costs. The development of biosimilars, or cancer drugs that are similar to the originals, can bring much-needed treatments to patients at a significant cost-saving rate.
When choosing a treatment center, you must consider what kind of benefits are offered through the institution. If your insurance plan does not cover all costs of treatment, you should seek out financial assistance programs through your hospital. There are also many programs that help patients afford their treatments. For example, a social worker can help you find a financial counselor, who can help you figure out how to make your payments easier. A hospital’s financial counselor can also assist you in making a payment plan with your insurance provider. By educating yourself about how to manage your finances, you can focus on your recovery from cancer.