Home > Healthcare Business, Hospitals, Physician Practices > Prices soar in North Carolina as hospitals purchase oncology practices and dominate cancer market

Prices soar in North Carolina as hospitals purchase oncology practices and dominate cancer market

Large nonprofit hospitals in North Carolina are dramatically inflating prices on chemotherapy drugs at a time when they are cornering more of the market on cancer care, an investigation by the Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh has found.

The newspapers found hospitals are routinely marking up prices on cancer drugs by two to 10 times over cost. Some markups are far higher.

It’s happening as hospitals increasingly buy the practices of independent oncologists, then charge more – sometimes much more – for the same chemotherapy in the same office.

Asked about the findings, hospital officials said they are relying on a longtime practice of charging more for some services to make up for losses on others. Hospitals have a name for this: cost-shifting. …

Unlike many independent clinics, they say, hospitals suffer losses from treating patients without insurance and patients covered by Medicaid, the government program for the poor and disabled. Some independent oncologists acknowledge that they often refer such patients to hospitals.

Hospital officials say they provide counseling and many other cancer services that insurers don’t cover.

Officials for Carolinas HealthCare and Novant, which runs four Mecklenburg County hospitals, emphasize that they provide free care to many financially needy cancer patients.

See on www.charlotteobserver.com

For an aggregation of other articles on Hot Topics in Healthcare Law, go to my magazine on Scoop.it – Hot Topics in Healthcare Law and Regulation and my newspaper on Paper.li – Hot Topics in Healthcare Law.

For an aggregation of other articles on improving healthcare, go to my internet magazine Scoop.it! Changing Health for the Better.

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