Angela Mattie, associate professor of management and chair of health care management and organizational leadership in the School of Business at Quinnipiac University, was quoted in a CBSNews.com article about a young Croatian girl who was reportedly told she would have to pay $837,000 the day before she was to travel to the United States for an experimental cancer treatment.
The 5-year-old reportedly was sent a bill for $575,000 for treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and another bill for $262,000 for follow-up costs for the next five years.
Mattie said the bill does not seem out of the ordinary when one factors in the hospital costs, years of research, salaries and time and effort of developing the cure.
“It takes a lot of time effort and energy to discover something that’s going to make a difference, and that’s the reality of the marketplace,” Mattie told CBSNews.com, adding that the costs help ensure the U.S. as a “relatively safe and effective pharmaceutical process.”
Mattie said part of the outrage over the bill could be due to cultural differences. Since Croatia has a subsidized healthcare system, citizens may not be used to seeing how much these procedures can actually cost.
“From a cultural perspective, it may seem completely egregious to have this kind of bill because people in other countries may not be used to seeing the health care costs,” she said.