Charleston Cancer Center may be forced to turn away patients - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Charleston Cancer Center may be forced to relocate patients

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The sequester is already directly impacting people in the Lowcountry.

Cancer patients with Medicare may soon be relocated to hospitals because of reduced funding.

While a 2% cut sounds small, doctors say Medicare reimburses chemotherapy drugs at 6% more than sales price.

That additional 6% covers the cancer center's overhead, so a 2%cut is actually one-third of the revenue that they get.

Doctors say it impacts the way they are able to administer care and they may have to send a number of patients to hospitals for treatment.

"The thing is, it's obviously very complicated," said Dr. Julia Saylors, a partner at the Charleston Cancer Center. "But the fact is, is a 2-percent cut when your margin is already 6-percent, that's basically dropping it to a level that makes it very hard to stay in business."

Care for patients at hospitals and academic centers will likely be more expensive.

As a community practice, doctors say they don't have as much taxpayer support.

Charleston Cancer Center is a community practice that brings cancer care to the community.

They are on the outskirts of Charleston, serving most of Summerville, Ladson, Goose Creek and the surrounding areas.

They also have a satellite office in Moncks Corner, as well as Walterboro.

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