← Return to Center of Excellence questions/recommendations for CA resident

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Thanks so much to everyone for your input. I will certainly seek out 2nd and 3rd opinions. Likely from UCSF and UCI. But my next question is cost. As this treatment would be done outside my healthcare network if I go through a center for excellence, I'd love to get some idea of how much more the treatment/procedure would be going to UCSF/UCI?
So any insight/guidance on that front would also be helpful. As a 53 year old/semi-retired man (recently laid off after 30 years in the semiconductor industry), I pay for my own health insurance.

I guess I just call UCSF and tell them I would like to have a consult?

Thanks again to all for your past and continued support.

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Replies to "Thanks so much to everyone for your input. I will certainly seek out 2nd and 3rd..."

Just a laymen here but with 12 years of being part of this journey, I think a consult with a medical team (oncologist, radiation, surgeon) might be 0.5 hours for prepare time and 1.0 hours for actual meeting, so 1.5 hours per professional for a total of 4.5 hours. At a bill rate of $500 and adding on some additional expenses, perhaps $2,000 out of pocket. Even if this is off by 25%, it serves as general order of magnitude, and relative to the cost of a RALP.

A big part of this is education and also bed-side manner. You may find that as you get more knowledge base and comfort with questions and answers, the professional in your network may be a really good candidate.

Depending on what state you are in, some affordable health care plans have a Medicaid option that provides free health care if you are unemployed. It usually isn't the most robust package, but that might be an angle to look into.

keep the faith

Greg, you should call the financial offices at the hospitals to find pricing. Insurance especially Medicare controls the cost to the patient. Consequently, the cash pricing can be ridiculously high. You may be able to negotiate, but even for a consult it can be unaffordable. Mayo didn't have my insurance information and I received a bill for over $1,900 just to look at my records. The doctors consultation bill came in at over $700. And that was after I was told they offered a procedure that they don't have working equipment to perform.
UCLA offers support for the under insured. I'd recommend UCLA over UCSF. They have one of the best, cutting edge prostate cancer centers.
Best wishes