Medical centers specializing in cancer care say that health plans are denying coverage for routine care to patients who have enrolled in clinical trials. And now, they're backing a new bill which would make this practice illegal. According to Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH), who sponsored the measure, only 36,000 of 1.4 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year agree to participate clinical trials--because, providers say, insurers will cut off payment for routine clinical services if they participate. Health plan trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, for its part, denied that plans engage in this behavior. A spokesman for the group admitted that insurers do sometimes disagree with clinical trials operators as to who ought to pay for what, but contended that the two parties usually work things out among themselves without involving the patient.
To learn more about the bill:
- read this article from The Plain Dealer