KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Upset By Insurers’ Guidelines To Try Cheaper Drugs First, Doctors Issue Recommendations

The American Society of Clinical Oncology have one message to insurers: Put patients, not cost, first.

Stat: Cancer Doctors To Insurers: Not ‘Fail First,’ But ‘Patients First’
Cancer patients are locked in an intensifying struggle with insurers, who sometimes force them to try less expensive drugs before moving to more expensive ones, even against doctors’ wishes. Now the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, is deepening its involvement in the fight, issuing a set of recommendations Tuesday that it hopes insurers will follow as they confront a growing lineup of expensive cancer drugs. (Tedeschi, 4/20)

In other news on health care costs —

Modern Healthcare: Stricter Chargemaster Regulations Needed To Rein In Healthcare Costs
After a three-hour visit to the emergency room, a young girl left with a headache and a $4,875 bill. A Southern California hospital charged the girl and her family three times the fair and customary price for a CT scan — about $2,000 — to see if the girl's fall caused head trauma, according to Lisa Berry Blackstock, a patient advocate the family hired to negotiate a lower fee. The family's high-deductible health plan meant they had to cover the entire cost. (Kacik, 4/19)

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