(HealthDay News) — The open market cost of a radical prostatectomy (RP) varies widely in U.S. hospitals, according to research published in the March issue of Urology.
Scott C. Pate, MD, of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues conducted a telephone survey of a cohort of 100 U.S. hospitals to solicit price information for RP. The authors used a caller profile of an uninsured 55-year-old man recently diagnosed with Gleason 3 + 4 prostatic adenocarcinoma.
The researchers found that 70 hospitals provided facility prices for RP averaging $34,720 ± 20,335 (range, $10,100 to $135,000). The facility cost for RP was significantly higher at academic centers compared with private hospitals. No significant differences in cost were observed according to region, population, or hospital ranking. Only 10% of hospitals provided price information for surgeon and anesthesia fees (average, $8,280 ± 4,282; range, $4,028–$18,720). Discounts on fees (average, 34 ± 16%; range 10–80%) for prompt payment were offered by 33 hospitals.
“Currently, it appears to be unacceptably difficult for men with prostate cancer without insurance to obtain prices for an RP procedure,” the authors write.