|Third year radiation oncology resident Dr. Ankit Agarwal and assistant professor of radiation oncology Dr. Trevor Royce co-authored a high profile publication in the prestigious journal JAMA Oncology that was posted online on January 16, 2020. They compared costs associated with a standard course of radiation therapy for prostate cancer at 52 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer hospitals across the US, and found a more than 20-fold difference in list price for the same treatment. Further, even the average price charged was some 10-fold higher than what the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would typically reimburse hospitals.
However, because the hospital’s list price is not necessarily the same as the actual price patients would be charged, it makes it difficult for patients to be able to “comparison shop” for the best price for their treatment, which goes against the price transparency mandate enacted by CMS in 2019.
For those interested, the full publication can be found HERE.
Dr. Royce was interviewed by the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center where he also discussed this work, HERE.