In our Sunday editions, we'll report on the remarkable markups that many hospitals are charging for chemotherapy drugs.
It's part of our continuing coverage of hospitals' part in driving up the cost of health care, which started in April with our Prognosis: Profits series, a joint effort with The Charlotte Observer. This report, written by N&O reporter Joseph Neff and Observer reporters Ames Alexander and Karen Garloch, shows huge markups on many cancer drugs, which contribute to the record profits being piled up by many hospitals.
To do the work, the reporters and N&O database editor David Raynor analyzed more than 5,000 chemotherapy claims involving more than 200 health care providers in North Carolina. The team also examined how a large and rising share of oncologists are now affiliated with hospital systems, which have more bargaining power with health insurers and get higher reimbursements.
I don't want to give away too much before we publish, but I will say that many hospitals are receiving reimbursements for cancer drugs that are 10 or more times as much as Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, will allow for its patients. (The hospitals say they have to charge that much to make up for the care they give to poor or uninsured patients.)
You can judge those arguments Sunday, both in print and online.
-- Steve Riley