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Sep 23, 2012 2:21 PM by Matt Stafford

Newspaper: Hospitals inflate prices on chemo drugs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - An investigation by two newspapers has found that large nonprofit hospitals in North Carolina are dramatically inflating prices on chemotherapy drugs, even as they cover more of the market on cancer care.

The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh found hospitals routinely mark up prices on cancer drugs two to 10 times over costs. Some markups are far higher.

It's happening as hospitals buy the practices of independent oncologists. They then charge more for the same chemotherapy in the same office.

Hospital officials say they charge more for some services to make up for losses in others.

The newspapers obtained and analyzed a private database with information on more than 5,000 chemotherapy claims to get insight into pricing for cancer patients.

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