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Proton Beam therapy

dopplerjockey's picture
dopplerjockey
Posts: 39
Joined: Jul 2009

I have a web acquaintence that I have spoken with on the phone recently who underwent Proton Beam therapy at Loma Linda last summer. He is in his early fifties and has done real well following the therapy. I don't seem to find much information on this forum about Proton Beam therapy, and haven't seen many posts here from men that have had it done. I realize that there are only a few centers in America where it is performed, and I know that George Lewis from NBC news underwent the therapy, and seems to be getting along well. My friend told me that when they asked about the costs of the treatments they were told that if they had no health insurance they would be charged $45,000 for the completed course of therapy. If they had health insurance, Loma Linda would charge the Health insurance company over $200,000 for it. Has anyone ever heard of this, and if it is true, would that not explain alot about our problems with health care in the USA?

lshick's picture
lshick
Posts: 63
Joined: Apr 2009

It is very common--even typical--for insurance companies to pay something like half of the "billed" amount. If a physician is contracted with ("in network for") the insurance company, they eat the other half.

I can't generalize to whether that is anything more than "bill the sky--may be they'll pay it!"

Larry

channelsurferdude
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2009

Here is a group about Proton Beam Therapy

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/protoninfo/

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

My father was treated at Loma Linda for his Prostate Cancer in 1997. Doing well 12 years later. I spoke to Loma Linda about treatments for myself. I was strongly considering their treatment but opted for robotic surgery. They will not take above Gleason 7 at Loma Linda and would have given me Proton beam and Traditional beam treatments.

The cost is considerably higher then other treatments due to the cost of building and installing a proton generator. I understand that at one time NASA was using the proton center at Loma Linda 'off hours' for research which helps on the expense of maintaining etc.

My insurance denied treatment with the Proton. Loma Linda told me that since my insurance denied I would be billed somewhere in the mid to upper $30,000 range for treatment's.
It would depend on how many treatments I actually received. I Would have to either pay up front or set up a 2 year payment plan Automatically dedecuted from my account monthly.

I can easily believe the $200,000 charge. I also looked at Proton Treatments in Jacksonville Florida and their charge for no insurance coverage was over $100,000 for treatments. Cost difference might be since Loma Linda was the first center and have recouped cost over the years. Where Jacksonville is new and still recouping the cost.

Larry

NM
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi again all you helpful people I was reading about Proton Beam and it seems a damn shame we as cancer patients are being priced out of certain treatments.I am not even going to research this because my ins. co said its not available and I havent won the lottery yet. If you can get this therapy I wish you the best as I do in any therapy any one selects.

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