Some great NPR Planet Money stories examining medical insurance and costs in the U.S. I started a new topic to avoid hijacking the IMRT costs thread. But this does bear directly on our treatments for prostate cancer. Your IMRT is supposed to cost X, your insurance company will pay Y, you pay Z and they don't seem connected.
Cancer Debt: The Hidden Costs Beyond Insurance:
The Health Care Economist is In:
You've seen those crazy-looking medical bills, the ones with row after row of prices and treatment codes. How about one that says the service cost $1,200, except your insurer paid $400 and you the patient owe nothing? Where did that other money go?
Doctor bills are complicated enough to make you go looking for a Harvard health care economist. Which is just what we did. Today, professor Joseph Newhouse fields your questions.
I really liked these stories, although they're not directly related to prostate cancer, I think you can see some connections, especially as a lot of prostate cancer patients are choosing medical tourism these days.
Shopping for an MRI:
We know how a market is supposed to work. If two stores sell the same product, and one sells it for cheaper than the other, more customers should flock to the first store and put the second store out of business. But if we're learned anything from studying health care, it's that it doesn't always follow the basic rules of economics. To find out why the market works this way, we visited Pensacola, Florida where two health care facilities down the street from each other charge very different prices for MRIs.
Shopping for an MRI (outside the United States):
This time we travel from New Haven, Conn. to Japan, where an MRI costs only $160. Why? Well, it's because of the government, the quality of the machines and as we'll hear from neurologist Dr. Michiko Kimura Bruno, because Japanese people really love MRIs.
Dx Feb 2006, PSA 9 @age 43
RRP Apr 2006 - Gleason 3+4, T2c, NX MX, pos margins
PSA 5/06 <0.1, 8/06 0.2, 12/06 0.6, 1/07 0.7.
Salvage radiation (IMRT) total dose 70.2 Gy, Jan-Mar 2007@ age 44
PSA 6/07 0.1, 9/07 and thereafter <0.1