Increasing Copays Causing Physicians to Expand Their Roles
As an active clinical oncologist and practice president, I can tell you that the patient’s copay is a daily issue my doctors and I and our staff have to deal with. Particularly even in the senior advantage plans, patients are getting 20% copay back on increasingly expensive regimens.
For many, this is unaffordable. It’s not just the chemotherapy copay or the biologic therapy. It’s oral drugs. It is copays for visits and for multiple treatment courses that are really becoming unaffordable to patients.
More and more, our patients are coming back and saying, “I can’t afford that regimen. What are the alternatives? What are the costs?” We, as physicians, have had to learn it. Our staff has had to learn it. We’ve put in active programs for copay assistance when possible, because we’re in a partnership with our patients to have treatments that improve their health.