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Provo – once a model – sees medical spending spiking

A story done in partnership between Kaiser Health News and the Washington Post reports:

“Provo’s spending increases aren’t an aberration. Annual average spending grew at 7 percent or more in other traditionally low-cost areas, including Oxford, Miss.; Wausau, Wis., and Durham, N.C. Even in Rochester, Minn., home of the highly regarded Mayo Clinic, and Salt Lake City, where Intermountain is headquartered, Medicare costs grew faster than the national average.”

Other quick excerpts:

Harvard professor Michael Chernew noted in a recent article that “even the most efficient delivery systems must wrestle with the adoption of expensive new technologies.”

“The gastroenterologists owning their own CT scanners, the oncologists owning their own radiation machines,” says Dr. Wendell Gibby, a radiologist who owns his own imaging clinic. “If you’ve got a million dollar scanner, you end up using it,” he says.

Read the whole piece. Good journalism.

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