Are you getting your money's worth in health care?

Bethesda, Md. April 12, 2006 Each year, Americans spend millions of dollars on health care. The question is, is it worth it? A new study published in Value in Health says it is, and with a positive return. This research especially applies to those who have suffered a heart attack or stroke, and those with type two diabetes or breast cancer.

Consumers are constantly reminded of the cost of health care from the monthly costs of health plans to, news reports on the rising share of tax dollars going to Medicare and Medicaid. But consumers and policymakers have little knowledge of what health care dollars are buying. However, with results from this study, the authors' argue that this spending is indeed worth the cost.

"We calculate that over the last 20 years, the return on investment is positive for overall national health care spending, Medicare spending on heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and diabetes and, all major health care innovations which we could both identify and which were associated with these four diseases," says lead researcher Dr. Bryan Luce.

Specifically, each additional dollar spent on overall health care services was calculated to produce health gains valued from $1.55 to as much as $1.94. This study demonstrates that it is possible to validly estimate the value of health care spending. The authors conclude that cost should not be considered in isolation without estimating the value of the investment in health care.

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This study is published in the Value in Health. Media wishing to receive a PDF of the study please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Bryan R. Luce, PhD, MBA is a senior research scientist and senior vice president, for Science Policy for United BioSource Corporation. He also founded The MEDTAP Institute in 1995 and served as its Chairman, President and CEO until 2002. Dr. Luce is on the editorial boards of Value in Health, the American Journal of Managed Care, and PharmacoEconomics. Media wishing to contact Dr. Luce for an interview or more information, can e-mail him at bryan.luce@unitedbiosource.com, or call him at 301-664-7274.

About Value in Health
Value in Health is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal reporting on evaluations of medical technologies including pharmaceuticals, biologics, devices, procedures, and other health care interventions. It provides a scientific forum for communicating health economics and outcomes research methods and findings, furthering ISPOR's vision that "society allocate scarce health care resources wisely, fairly, and efficiently."

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 665 academic, medical, and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and, to date, has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.


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