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Increase in health tests, procedures is raising costs in frugal Utah

Washington Post/Kaiser Health News, May 18, 2010
Residents of Provo, UT, many of them Mormons who don't smoke or drink, are among the healthiest in the country. The city's biggest hospital is run by Intermountain Healthcare, which President Obama has lauded for providing high-quality care while restraining costs. Until recently, Provo seemed to be a model for the nation. But spending on Medicare patients here has accelerated rapidly, as it has in many other areas of the country that are known for cost-efficient care. This is due to a swift increase in the number of procedures and tests being performed, a trend that has coincided with the additions of new surgical and cancer treatment suites and diagnostic machines at hospitals and clinics throughout the growing region.