The average patient with a blood cancer had more than $112,000 in annual allowed spending in 2016. Although patients aged 0 to 14 years made up the smallest patient cohort, they accounted for the highest average allowed spending, at roughly $160,000 per year. Patients aged 40 to 64 years, the age bracket in which a blood cancer diagnosis was most prevalent, had the lowest average annual costs, at $106,000.
“Insurance coverage does offer substantial protection to most of the patients in our [study]. However, some patients, especially those with high-deductible plans, will face financial toxicity,” the report concluded. “Payers can ameliorate some of these issues by trying to provide prompt financial counseling to affected individuals. Avoiding [out-of-network] charges can protect a patient’s financial resources. Plan design changes could help smooth the calendar year deductible spike. But the ultimate solution is to reduce healthcare cost and not to pass overly high costs to patients.”
Dieguez G, Ferro C, Rotter D; Milliman, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The cost burden of blood cancer care: a longitudinal analysis of com-mercially insured patients diagnosed with blood cancer. LLS.org. www.lls.org/sites/default/files/Milliman%20study%20cost%20burden%20of%20blood%20cancer%20care.pdf. October 2018. Accessed January 8, 2019. pdf. Published October 2018. Accessed November 25, 2018.