Reading between the Prescriptions - Fighting Cancer

By: ccilinton12


Battling cancer is an arduous journey, both for the patients as well as their families. While every patient deserves the best possible care, it has been observed that families do not discuss their financial standing openly, before the initiation of cancer treatment.

Most patients pursue any potentially promising treatment irrespective of its cost. It is not entirely wrong to do so, however, it is a lesser known fact that the more doctors treat a patient, the higher their reimbursement is. Also, an oncologist will make more money if he prescribes a newly formulated test drug rather than a tried and tested one. Thus, it is important for patients to discuss their economic standing with doctors before starting any specific treatment. While some feel that this may affect their treatment negatively and doctors might cut corners to save money, most doctors feel that better care can be given once the economic aspect of the treatment has been addressed satisfactorily.

It is important to discuss your finances with the doctor as small changes in the treatment can have a considerable economic impact. For example, while treating colon cancer a specific drug can be given either orally or intravenously. If the oral drug is prescribed, then the patient faces co-pay in spite of having an insurance. However, the co-pay is waived if the drug is given intravenously. Thus by merely altering the administration of a particular drug, the cost of the treatment is effected is a positive manner.

Most patients are hesitant to talk to their doctors about finances and many doctors are not very well versed with the economic intricacies of cancer treatment. In such cases, it is advisable to refer to either financial counsellors or social workers.

In order to make cancer care more economically sound, it has been suggested that a system of packaged payment should be implemented instead of the fee-for-service tradition. With a packaged payment procedure, oncologists will not be tempted to prescribed more expensive trial drugs over equally effective generic drugs.

Transparency in the billing process must also be facilitated. Patients should know what they are paying for and if everything that they are paying for is accounted for.

Proper knowledge about test drugs and treatments is also necessary. Several expensive tests are introduced without proof that they improve chances of survival or lower side effects. Communication between patients and doctors is important to ensure the success of such trials.

As far as cancer care and research is concerned, Seattle cancer centres and hospitals are well reputed and known for providing excellent treatment as well as sound financial guidance.

The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) along with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s form one of the most successful cancer research and treatment collaborations.

The SCCA has over 200 clinical trials for different types of cancer and blood disorders. Like all other Seattle cancer centres, research and patient care is given high priority at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre.

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Battling with cancer can be a traumatic experience, both for you and for your loved ones. Only way, you can ensure your loved ones receives best of care and treatment is by enrolling them with a reputed Seattle cancer center. For further information on same, visit this site.

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