“It doesn’t treat what you don’t want treated,” said Calypso patient Jerry Decker from Washington, Ind.
“Dr. (James) Currier initially learned of the technology and brought it here,” said Franklin. At the time, late 2010, Currier owned the radiation portion of the cancer center, which has since been purchased by Community Hospital Anderson.
Acquiring the new technology with costs closing in on half a million dollars was going out on limb. Franklin said that insurance payers do not reimburse hospitals in the early years of the use of new technology, which explains why so few of the systems are in place.
“That’s where the risk is and has been for hospitals,” said Leah Campbell, Community Hospital’s director of marketing and community relations. The system has now been approved for reimbursement, thanks in part to Dr. Currier’s efforts, including his participation in federal government proceedings.
Community Hospital Anderson’s cancer center has treated about 80 patients since acquiring the Calypso system. Many of those patients have not been local. They’re people like Decker who researched to find a better solution.
Franklin said that Community is looking at expanding use of the Calypso to treat lung cancer as well, with an August meeting scheduled to explore the topic.
In the meantime, Decker just completed his treatments and left feeling very good about things.
“I’ve got friends – they’re going to hear. If I can help somebody, I’m confident that this is something really good,” said Decker.
Like Nancy Elliott on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @NancyElliott_HB, or call 640-4805.