Monday, February 11, 2013
The Cost Of Living
I called her the other day after her first round of chemo just to see how she was doing. The conversation turned to the cost of her treatment. She had gone to her health care provider's website to look up the bills. With all of her treatments she had passed her out of pocket cap in January, so luckily for her everything will now be covered 100% by insurance. But what she relayed to me is staggering.
Her insurance was billed over $17,000 for the lumpectomy, and that's not counting the various radiology and lab charges. Chemotherapy costs $21,000 per treatment. $21,000. Online estimates are that the average oncologist makes $280,000 a year; that's good money, but not private plane, 6,000 sq. ft. McMansion money. And nobody is going to claim the nurses and technicians are getting rich. So what drives the high cost?
It has to be the drugs. I know it costs millions to research, develop and bring drugs to market. The drug companies and their shareholders deserve to make a profit. I'd be curious to know the profit margins on each IV bag of chemo drugs.
More importantly, I'd like to know what happens to those without health insurance.