There was a time for most of us when life had
no financial considerations. Unfortunately, as adults we have no choice but to plan and budget in every area of life.
And quality health care, especially for cancer, can become a real drain on the resources.
We are committed
to making sure that every suitable candidate who wants to obtain treatment here can do so. While we believe strongly
that dedicated and attentive medical care is a thing of value and that the physician deserves to make a living along
with everyone else, we believe just as strongly in helping out where there's a true need. We also know that every
person, regardless of means, appreciates being treated fairly and knowing what to expect.
We don't receive any
funding from the government or industry, and therefore we must depend on patients' reasonable fees to cover the costs of our
work. We will do several things to make sure the financial aspect of your care is more than fair. Many patients
will find that their expenses here are considerably less than what they've been accustomed to. We're also happy to let you know our best expectation of
the cost of your services in advance. Don't hesitate to ask.
Next, we offer flexibility on your account.
Payment for services is not due until 21 days following each visit (with the exceptions of a preliminary conference, as discussed
on the "Getting Started" page, and international patients). However, if you pay your account sooner we'll
offer you a discount for helping us meet our expenses and simplify our accounting. We are happy to accept major credit
cards as well.*
Many people ask us why we set our fees so low, especially considering the unusual level of personal attention provided
here. Most cancer clinics charge many times what we do, and we have no doubt that we could easily charge ten or
even twenty times as much. The reason we don't is simple. We see no reason to charge more just because we can.
Many families would hardly notice the difference, but for some it could add to difficult circumstances. We would much
rather finish each day knowing that we have been more than fair to every patient.
What about insurance?
When your insurance company requires
medical information to support the approval of diagnostic studies or the coverage of prescription medicines (including generating
detailed appeals when necessary), we are happy to complete this work on behalf of our patients without additional charge.
However we do not bill insurance companies or other third parties directly nor do we allow them to dictate our fees,
and our office staff cannot serve as your insurance liaison. We provide services directly to you and payment for services
is your responsibility. If you have an insurance carrier who will reimburse some or all of your expenses, as many do,
we will be happy to help you assemble the documents needed to submit a claim. If you are considering treatment here,
we will happy to give you more detailed information. You may be pleased to find that your expenses can be paid from
a health spending account if your insurance has that feature. Further, since so many people have now been relegated
to insurance plans with deductibles so high that they're almost useless anyway, the fact that fees paid here will go toward
satisfying that deductible may make the net result better than actual insurance coverage anyway.
What about the costs of medicines and
Most of the medicines you'll use in this treatment program are fairly inexpensive
but one of them can be much more expensive. If you have prescription drug insurance coverage, it will usually cover
these costs just like any of your other prescriptions since everything we use is freely available at any pharmacy.
(Please note that we cannot predict what your insurance carrier will do nor can we control them. We will support your
claims in every way we reasonably can, but ultimately your insurance matters are between you and your insurance provider.)
The same will probably be true for lab studies ("blood work") and imaging studies which will be necessary from time
to time. We also have arrangements with several clinical labs in our area which allow us to offer significant discounts
to any patients who do not have insurance to cover these. We may also be able to put you in contact with other agencies
that can assist in obtaining medicines in cases of financial hardship.
What about financial hardship?
We are committed to help.
First, if a church or other IRS-approved charitable organization or place of worship certifies on their letterhead that they
are covering your costs because they have determined that you and/or your family are unable, we will deduct 40% from all your
charges. (This results in our providing our work for significantly less than what it costs us out of pocket to care
for you.) If this is not an option for you, we are very willing to consider the details of your situation and, when
warranted, apply objective criteria to reduce your costs to an affordable level. If either of these apply to you, don't
hesitate to ask. We'll work with you to go over the details of what you'll need to document and what we can do.
In every case, you can be assured that you'll be afforded discretion and respect, and your treatment will never be different
from any other person. Every patient we see receives the best care we can give. And as noted above, help may be
available with the cost of medicines too.
What if others want to help?
Your family and friends may
want to help you receive care, or you may wish to help someone else. Such donations are tax deductible. If you
wish to make a donation toward future care of other patients (for instance, in honor of a loved one) we will not only make
sure it goes to someone who actually needs help but will also at least match it with a gift of our own.
want to make sure you can receive what you need. Please feel free to ask any questions that we haven't covered here.
We will be happy to give you information in as much detail as desired and to answer anything about these matters.
prompt payment discount does not apply to the charge for the preliminary conference since payment for that service is due
at the time of service.
We must ask for payment to be made on the day services are provided to our international patients, but we are happy to apply
the same prompt payment discount for doing so if completed with cash or a cash equivalent such as recognized travelers' cheques
payable in USD. We are also happy to accept Visa and Mastercard issued in other countries provided the processing bank
system is able to approve the transaction, but we are not able to offer a discount in this situation due to international
processing fees charged to us which usually far exceed all of these amounts.