Researching Treatments Shows Paths To Health Savings
An orthopedic surgeon in Sacramento became suspicious of a new therapy that helps tendons heal by injecting platelet-rich plasma into joints, The Sacramento Bee reports. So, he decided to do a test. It turned out, his patients outcomes were no different when he used the platelet-rich plasma therapy as when he didn't. The plasma treatment costs hundreds of dollars more per patient. "The country as a whole could use a dose of such skepticism when it comes to expensive new therapies, critics say," in order to cut back on an estimated $700 billion in annual spending on unnecessary health services. The health overhaul now in limbo would add to $1.1 billion toward this type of research (Calvan, 1/25).
Another way to achieve savings in health spending may be better prevention programs, Crain's Detroit Business reports. "A new study indicates that Michigan's employers and health care providers could do a better job offering prevention and early detection programs to reduce the state population's higher-than-average numbers of hospital discharges for cardiovascular disease, depression and back disorders, according to Ann Arbor-based Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation." The center's director said, "There is a lot of health care spending for things that are clearly preventable or where early intervention could make a difference" (Greene, 1/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.