In a study released by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, out of 529 cancer patient visits, doctors only brought up treatment costs a handful of times. In fact, patients were more likely to bring up costs first.
The study was conducted on a group of newly diagnosed cancer patients, who some would argue, need to be educated on treatment costs more than anyone. Out of 529 patient visits, patients brought up cost 106 times while doctors only brought it up in 45 instances.
In the cases where cost was brought up, the discussion only lasted one or two minutes and only a few patients were referred to social services for financial assistance help.
The study cites that the lack of time between appointments with patients and the absence of financial cost education in medical school only attribute to this issue.
Some patients have a ‘treat now, worry later’ attitude when it comes to dealing with treatment costs. Others refuse certain treatments that could extend their life for fear of putting their family further into debt.
Either way, patients are left to deal with the fallout post-treatment when the bills arrive, and they’re scrambling to make the payments. With treatment costs that can range to over $100,000 a year, many cancer patients aren’t left with many options outside declaring bankruptcy.
There are plenty of nonprofit cancer organizations with financial assistance programs but many lack the money needed to fund these astronomical costs. However, viatical settlement companies are able to provide a solution that other resources are unable to. With an existing life insurance policy, you can pay medical bills and fund future, life-extending treatments. To learn more about our no-obligation, cost-free program, see if your policy qualifies.