When discussing treatments, doctors should include their costs

By

Opinion

September 10, 2019 - 10:16 AM

For three decades I’ve worked with people who are aging or chronically ill, helping them figure out how the heck they are going to pay for old age or serious illness. One of the issues that’s gotten markedly worse during this time is financial toxicity — that is, the economic burden that too often accompanies the diagnosis of a dread or terminal disease. I see this most often with people battling cancer.

Well, as often happens in life, I recently found the proverbial shoe on the other foot when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, her prognosis is pretty good, and she has some resources and a great support system.

As we sat talking with medical pros in Baltimore regarding the best course of treatment, side effects, outcomes and alternatives, I segued from son Scott to professional Scott, asking questions I so often try to help strangers answer. To say Mom’s doctors were taken aback is an understatement.

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