Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Brant Phillips discussed the potential growth of proton therapy treatment for certain types of cancer in an article for Modern Healthcare. The article examines the continuing debate about the true efficacy of this unique form of cancer care versus its cost, which is higher than traditional radiation therapy, and how that debate may change as the cost to build proton therapy facilities is expected to decline with improvements in technology.  Tennessee has three proton therapy centers, and Brant served as lead counsel in securing regulatory approval for each of those facilities.

“The million-dollar question is when commercial payers will be more flexible about how they reimburse this care and at what rate,” Brant said. “As the number of centers continue to proliferate, particularly as the technology continues to allow for proton mini-beam therapy that requires far less capital expenditure, we’ll see more evidence-based information that commercial insurers say they want to see to justify a wider range of coverage for proton therapy.”

The full article, “Photons v. Protons: Health Systems Invest in New Cancer Treatments Amid Mixed Evidence,” was published by Modern Healthcare on December 22 and is available online (subscription required).