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Hospitals Gain, U.S. Suffers
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  • Boritz

    “Our best hope for lowering costs as well as improving quality is medical technology that allows care to be delivered more efficiently and cheaply. ”

    It seems like technological advances in medicine mostly drive prices up. The latest chemo works better but costs way more. A CAT scan costs more than x-rays. There are definitely advances that lower costs but they seem to be overwhelmed by the best treatment (and diagnostics) available costing way more than the former best. Critics of ACA say that many patients will be offered only the older/less expensive regimen as a cost control. The NHS does this routinely.

    • Andrew Allison

      I think that what TF means by “medical technology” is not new medical technology, which as you point out has questionable cost-benefits, but the application of IT to make the delivery of care less costly. Examples which have frequently been alluded to here are digitized records, remote care, etc. The other necessary step is to break the stranglehold which the medical guilds have on the delivery system. The rabid opposition to increased utilization of NPs is just one example of how costs are being kept artificially high. The third rail, er leg of the stool, is insurance. Not only do private insurance companies skim off four-or-more times as much of the premiums as Medicare as overhead, but by most estimates, dealing with them represents about 25% of the practitioners’ costs. This is completely nuts. We face a very simple choice: continue to make the managements and shareholders of private insurance companies wealthy or provide affordable healthcare. We can’t do both. also outlines some no-brainer ways to reduce costs.

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