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Study: Community cancer treatment cheaper than in urban areas

Posted On Wed, November 2, 2011

A recent study from the U.S. Oncology Network found that per-patient-per-month cancer treatment service costs are much less expensive in a community care setting for Medicare patients.

The study, called the "Site of Service Cost Differences for Medicare Patients Receiving Chemotherapy," found that it costs approximately $6,500 less per patient each year when receiving chemotherapy "by site of service." Patient health insurance copays were also 10 percent less for receiving care in the office by a physician.

"When cancer care providers shift from the community to more urban settings, this often represents an access to care challenge for patients constituted by added travel costs and lodging requirements that many patients simply cannot afford, especially those patients residing in rural communities," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, founder and chief executive officer of the National Patient Advocate Foundation.

Consumers who learn that they are ineligible for Medicare may want to go online and look at multiple health insurance quotes. This could make it easier for many consumers to find a plan that is affordable and has sufficient coverage.

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