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SUMMARY: We can be tempted to think that insiders in the world of health care don’t understand the effects of their choices about pricing. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have met a number of people in the industry who are deeply concerned about the future, and who are taking their own steps to make change happen. And so we were fascinated to read this piece about pricing, from a health-care insider. Among other things, he tells us that a certain course of radiation treatment is charged at $23,172.13, while he figures the cost to provide the services is $3,806.


Run, don’t walk, to this site: This blog post is by CancerGeek, the Twitter handle of a member of the price transparency movement I met recently.

“I had the privilege of joining the Healthcare Price Transparency Tweet Chat last night. (#hcpt more on simpler here) During the conversation a few topics came up about patients understanding pricing better, the cost of healthcare, and being able to access the information.

This made me think, I am not sure how many healthcare organizations actually understand what their internal cost is to produce a specific episode of care for patients, let alone most healthcare professionals knowing and understanding billing, coding, charges, and reimbursement.

So, I decided that I was going to try and shed a bit of light on this and see if I can help to explain what is the cost to produce an episode of care versus what is the charge of that care to patients.

(He then proceeds to price out the elements of radiation therapy for lung cancer patients, in meticulous detail.

“In summary it appears to be the following scenario: A patient would be charged an average of about $23,172.13 for their treatment.

“The cost it takes the facility to produce that treatment between staffing, equipment, and the cost of the facility is around $3806.00.”

via The Story of What Healthcare Charges And What It Costs | CancerGeek.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...