What cost prostate cancer treatment?

Many readers will be interested in the article titled “Debate surrounds new prostate-cancer treatment” that appeared today in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the topic of prostate cancer treatment costs.

The article deals most specifically with the issues around the costs associated with CyberKnife therapy and the suggestions that coverage for this form of treatment may be withdrawn in several states if it is deemed to still be an “experimental” form of treatment for prostate cancer.

It appears that the differences of opinion about the value of CyberKnife therapy within the academic specialists in the radiation oncology community is mirrored by a similar set of differences of opinion among members of the radiation oncology community who provide guidance on coverage issues.

5 Responses

  1. So little is really known, ALL prostate cancer treatment should be considered experimental and its patients test subjects.

    Insurance coverage will ultimately drive most of prostate cancer treatment — which should be based on both effectiveness and morbidity.

    I hope that industry and government collect information in a way that enables appropriate decisions to be made.

  2. Steve:

    If we categorized “ALL prostate cancer treatment” as “experimental,” the insurance industry would be absolutely delighted because it would justify paying for none of it. In the world of health insurance, “experimental” is a technical term that has very specific implications for coverage decisions.

  3. What a surprise that members of the radiation oncology community do not support a new therapy using equipment that they do not have. Imagine that!!

  4. True, the insurance industry would be more than happy having this procedure labelled as experimental. The less they pay the better for them.

    I don’t think we’ll know CyberKnife’s true effectiveness until the statistics can be examined against other therapies. And for this to happen we need more time to assess survival rates.

  5. If the US medical community can’t even show that screening saves any lives, you’ve got to ask why insurance pays on any of this for any reason except fear of the mob.

    This is very easy for me to say as I am quite pleased with the results of my investigational (as opposed to experimental) treatment. I’m just glad that there was a usable insurance code.

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