How much is it actually costing the patient?

By 97.1 FM Talk

(KFTK) – Dr Trevor Royce, Assistant Professor UNC-Chapel Hill Breast Cancer joined Dr Tobler following the publication of his recent study on medical price transparency.

"We can all acknowledge we have a long way to go with transparency, in terms of healthcare pricing," says Dr Royce. "Its one thing to know how much prices are, and we can throw these large numbers around. But how much is it actually costing the patient?"

"We sort of have this system where we have one foot in the free market, and the free market forces should do what they can do," says Dr Royce.  "Then we have the other foot in a not free market." 

Dr Royce and others looked into radiation treatments for prostate cancer, and found a wide range of prices for the same treatment.

"There was not much correlation or rhyme or reason that we could tease out about where that variation is coming from," says Royce. 

Dr Royce agrees with Dr Tobler that posting a price-range for a particular medical service, really may not be as helpful as it seems.

"It is of limited utility, as you rightly said. A range of the exact same service, from $20-thousand to  $400-thousand, clearly that doesn't make much sense.  The reality is no one is paying 400-thousand dollars for their prostate cancer radiation," says Royce.


Read about the study's results HERE


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