By KIMBERLY MARTIN-JAMES, Associated PressAUGUSTA, Ga.
(AP) Doctors in Georgia have taken steps to pay for a growing number of services they use to treat patients with cancer, including surgeries that require intravenous lines.
The Associated Press found the cost of treating more than 2,000 cancer patients in the state was about $1.1 million, with about 70 percent of the costs covered by federal and state grants.
More than 30 states are funding some of the medical costs for cancer patients, and Georgia has among the highest rates in the country.
The state’s Medicaid program pays for some of that cost.
In 2016, the state’s Department of Health set aside $15 million for the cost.
That money will cover about 1,300 procedures, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgeries and other care.
The department says it has already spent more than $5 million on those surgeries.
That includes more than 100 chemotherapy treatments and another $5.5 million for radiation treatments.
The state also reimburses some hospitals for treating patients for cancer.
But most of those reimbursements are to cover out-of-network expenses, and not for patients in Georgia.
The new program was created under the state budget last year to provide more treatment options for cancer-stricken patients.
The funding was part of a broader effort to expand Medicaid coverage.
The program is a new way for doctors to pay patients for the services they provide.
It also gives patients more choices in where they get their medical care.
In Georgia, cancer patients who pay a monthly fee or who sign up for a one-time payment will get more care and care will get cheaper.
In Georgia, those who get a lump sum will get less care and less care will be more expensive.
The AP’s findings are based on state data.