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Medical devices drive up heart care costs

Philadelphia Inquirer, May 24, 2010
A study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center found that newer medical devices are a major reason why heart care costs are rising dramatically. The researchers examined Medicare claims on patients between the ages of 65 and 84 with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure from 2003 through 2006. The study found that the inflation-adjusted cost of care for patients with heart disease rose from $12,160 in 2003 to $12,721 in 2006, a 4.6% increase. The average cost of care for heart failure patients rose from $17,153 in 2003 to $18,371 in 2006, a 7.1% inflation-adjusted increase.