Health News Review

Noteworthy from the New York Times:  “The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill: Colonoscopies Explain Why U.S. Leads the World in Health Expenditures.”

Key excerpt:

“While several cheaper and less invasive tests to screen for colon cancer are recommended as equally effective by the federal government’s expert panel on preventive care — and are commonly used in other countries — colonoscopy has become the go-to procedure in the United States. “We’ve defaulted to by far the most expensive option, without much if any data to support it,” said Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

In coming months, The New York Times will look at common procedures, drugs and medical encounters to examine how the economic incentives underlying the fragmented health care market in the United States have driven up costs, putting deep economic strains on consumers and the country.”

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Comments

Herb zydney posted on June 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

The article raises important comparisons for review. But its difficult to understand the real costs to “society” in the comparisons. Are there government subsidies to suppliers? Is the tax rate of providers’
different in different countries? Are the specific procedures the same – like a hip replacement? It would really be great to have a top-bottom examination of at least one procedure to better understand the nation-to-nation comparison.

topdoc posted on June 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

real cost to tax payers is not hard to understand, as taxes do go up, as medicare and medicaid is paid for from citizens taxes, business taxes, but NOT corporation taxes.

Yes, the federal government is giving money to insurance companies, and will give them more, as the ACA takes effect. It is also shunting medicare funds to fund the ACA.

Who really is the winner? Certainly not the patient/client?

Why are we afraid to speak out about the changes effecting us? (doctors, patients, care givers, American Citizens).