KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Some Insurers Refusing To Pay For Proton-Beam Cancer Therapy

Blue Shield of California joins two other insurers who contend that other cancer treatments are just as good, and far less expensive.

The Wall Street Journal: Prostate-Cancer Therapy Comes Under Attack
At least three major insurers have recently decided to stop covering proton beam therapy for early stage prostate cancer or are reviewing their policy, saying that while it is an effective treatment, it is much less cost-effective when compared to the price of comparable treatments. The moves come amid ongoing concern about U.S. health care costs and a land-rush atmosphere among leading medical centers to acquire proton beam technology (Winslow and Martin, 8/28).

Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield Of California To Curb Coverage Of Pricey Cancer Therapy
As hospitals race to offer the latest in high-tech care, a major California health insurer is pushing back and refusing to pay for some of the more expensive and controversial cancer treatments. Blue Shield of California is taking on this high-cost radiation treatment just as Scripps Health in San Diego prepares to open a gleaming, $230-million proton beam therapy center this fall, only the second one in California and the 12th nationwide (Terhune, 8/28).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.