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The CHEM Center for Radiation Oncology - Frequently Asked Questions

How long does treatment take?

Treatment only takes a few minutes per day and is usually given five days a week for two to seven weeks. This schedule helps protect healthy body tissue by spreading out the total dose of radiation. Your radiation oncologist will determine the total number of treatments you will need.

How does my Doctor know what services I am receiving at the Center?

The CHEM Center Radiation Oncologists are in close contact with your primary and referring physicians throughout your course of therapy. Your physicians will receive written summaries of your first visit and a summary of your entire course of therapy.

What if I can't make it to the Center for my treatment because of bad weather?

It is important to receive all you treatments, but if you do need to cancel because of very bad weather or other reasons, please call us in the morning to let us know.

How do my films and other records get returned to hospital?

Typically, patients bring films to the Center to assist the CHEM physicians in designing the best therapeutic course. The CHEM Center will mail these films back to the originating hospital at the end of your therapy.

What kind of medical professionals work at the Center?

The CHEM Center considers it's staff one of the best reasons to choose the Center for your therapy. Three full time Radiation Oncology physicians participate in the referring hospitals' tumor conferences and hospital based oncology clinics. The physican group has over 60 years of experience in treating cancer patients in both community and teaching hospital settings. All physicians are board certified in Radiotherapy.

Additionally, highly trained and certified nursing, physics and therapy staff are chosen for their ability to work with the patient and patients' family to complete the course of therapy designed by the physicians.

I'm a HMO patient. Why do I owe a co-pay when I see the Doctor?

Copay responsibilities vary from plan to plan but most plans require that you pay when you see your Doctor for a consultative visit ( the first visit) and for your follow up visit ( after treatment is over ). No plan requires a co pay for daily treatment.

Why is my insurance company receiving a bill for a day I was not at the CHEM Center?

Unlike my services you receive, Radiation Oncology provides services to you in preparation for therapy as well as services to you while you are in the building. These charges reflect the work of physicists and dosimetrists in assisting the physician in planning your care and checking the doses and various other critical elements of your treatments.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation is a special kind of energy carried by waves or a stream of particles. When radiation is used at very high levels it can be used to treat cancer and other illnesses.
High levels of radiation can kill cells or keep them from growing and dividing. Cancer cells grow and divide more rapidly than many of the normal cells around them and so are very vulnerable to radiation.

Radiation therapy is an effective way to treat many kinds of cancer in almost any part of the body. Very special techniques are used to make sure that cancer cells are destroyed by the radiation while healthy tissue is protected. About half of all people with cancer are treated with radiation.

Radiation therapy is given by an expert team, which includes physicists, dosimetrists, nurses and therapists. The team is led by a physician called a radiation oncologist.

What insurances does the Center accept?

The Center accepts all major insurances, including Medicare, Medex, Blue Cross, Tufts, Harvard Pilgrim, Secure Horizon, Aetna US Health care, Network Health, Hallmark Advantage and most other insurances. As a courtesy, the Center will verify your insurance and will inform you if you need to obtain a referral from your primary care physician. To check if your insurance is accepted, please call our business office at 781-279-0655.

Why do I receive two bills?

There are two groups that are responsible for your care at the Center. The first is the physicians group which is known as Middlesex East Radiation Oncology, and the second is the facility which is known as Community Hospitals of Eastern Middlesex, Hallmark Health. These groups bill for their service separately.

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