Cost Of Treatment Driving Up Health Care Expenses | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Cost Of Treatment Driving Up Health Care Expenses

Play associated audio

Health care costs have been growing rapidly for decades and researchers from Virginia Tech and American University say they've figured out why.

The group looked at health spending costs in this country from 1980 to 2006; one of the longest studies of its kind. They found it wasn’t an increase in the incidence of disease, although that has risen slightly. The biggest jump came in the cost of treatment.

"There are these new technologies that arrive treating heart attacks such as angioplasties and stents as ways to treat people with heart conditions, definitely raise the cost of treating heart conditions," says Ana Aizcorbe, a research professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. "So health economists think that is what are driving the costs and doctors use them and that is why more is spent today than in 1980."

Aizcorbe says another takeaway from this study on the rise in healthcare costs is the recent growing emphasis on preventative care. But she says there too, it’s hard to measure benefits when you try to match money spent with quality of life.

The World Health Organization has been looking into something called "quality life years." That is whether this clear increase in spending on treatment is worth it.

WAMU 88.5 is licensed to American University.

NPR

Mafia Wife, Getaway Driver, Stunt Woman: From The Underworld To Hollywood

Georgia Durante's career as a stunt driver has led to roles in car commercials and movies. But before the bright lights of Hollywood, the former model was speeding away from a dark past.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

All Eyes On Obama, World Leaders At Climate Change Summit

More than 120 leaders are expected to attend the one-day climate summit sponsored by the United Nations. They've been instructed to arrive with "bold ideas" to slow the rise in global temperatures.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.