What should medicine do when it can't save your life?
Spending on a disease like cancer tends to follow a particular pattern. There are high initial costs as the cancer is treated, and then, if all goes well, these costs taper off. For a patient with a fatal version of the disease, though, the cost curve is U-shaped, rising again toward the end—to an average of sixty-three thousand dollars during the last six months of life with an incurable breast cancer. Our medical system is excellent at trying to stave off death with eight-thousand-dollar-a-month chemotherapy, three-thousand-dollar-a-day intensive care, five-thousand-dollar-an-hour surgery. But, ultimately, death comes, and no one is good at knowing when to stop.
- EHR Systems 'Immature, Costly,' AMA Says
- Anthem Blue Cross, 7 CA Health Systems Create New Challenger, Business Model
- Interstate Medical Licensure Effort Advances
- Data Points to Boom in Private HIX
- Few Winners Among MSSP Participants
- Better HCAHPS Scores Protect Revenue
- How to Build a Health Plan from Scratch
- Technology Lights Up Health Innovation Forum
- Insurers see cost hikes in Partners HealthCare (MA) mergers
- Malnourishment 'Epidemic' Plagues Hospitals? Really?