Minnesota has enough radiation treatment centers, state says

  • Article by: Maura Lerner , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 15, 2013 - 11:25 PM

Rival groups of cancer doctors have spent millions in a debate over radiation-center needs.

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supervon2Mar. 15, 1310:05 PM

Hmmm. The State runs health care. Long live the State.

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alansonMar. 15, 1310:34 PM

So. Hospitals are way overcharging for radiation-center services. But that's ok with the state Department of Health. In fact the state mandates the overcharges. Sounds like a state-sanctioned monopoly to me.

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northrnlitesMar. 16, 13 8:43 AM

This doesn't speak to the concern of travel time for patients. Radiation treatment can be daily and last for weeks. Many patients are working full time and fitting this in to their schedules. Without a facility reasonably close, they are forced to make a choice between their job and treating cancer. Ridiculous.

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cg49423Mar. 16, 13 9:03 AM

I want a business that the State will protect from competition. There would be no need to continually evaluate charges/fees and customer service. Sounds like a sweet gig if I had friends in the right places (Legislature/Senate).

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chuckdancerMar. 16, 13 9:23 AM

Sounds a little off. It doesn't explain why more competition drives up costs to the system. Aren't the investment costs to set up the center borne by private investors?

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dtmonkeyboyMar. 16, 13 9:51 AM

Traditional supply and demand economics does not always work when it comes to healthcare. The cost of the equipment is so expensive that in order to keep costs down, hospitals need to use the equipment 24 hours a day. If there is lots of competition, hospitals loose money so they are forced to raise the prices on other services such as emergency room. The end result of the competition is that it actually increases the overall cost of healthcare. This is why the state gets involved. Essentially these new competitors want to offer only the profitable services which ends up leaving the hospitals with the necessary but unprofitable services...and ultimately they end up closing.

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viqueenfailMar. 16, 13 1:37 PM

No no. We need excess capacity so that the providers can keep trying to recoup their extravagant expenses by billing higher and higher fees. Of course, they know that we'll keep blaming the insurance companies for increased costs because that's who we pay our money to. Look folks, especially you people who say that no one should tell providers what to do, if you don't want health insurance premiums to keep going up at the rates they have you have to hold down costs throughout the system. You simply can't have lower cost health care if the providers keep building more facilities than are needed and outfitting them like a French spa. Who do you think they get their money from? It's you. Any cost in the system comes from you.

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vampress_meMar. 18, 13 8:37 PM

"existing radiation centers should be able to accommodate the growth, in part by extending their hours of operation". I wonder who's going to be the first patient told that his timeslot for radiation is 1am since the daytime hours are already full?

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