Overuse of expensive and unnecessary medtech innovations is among the key drivers of the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in the U.S., according to a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Studies suggest that by within the next 10 years $1 out of every $5 spent in the U.S. will go toward healthcare, and advances in medical devices are among the top 8 factors in increased spending, the BPC concluded.
"Advances in medical technology are a major contributor to improving health and increasing longevity, but unnecessary utilization of new technology – especially where a less costly treatment would be equally effective – drives health care spending," the authors wrote.
The report notes that U.S. patients often associated more care with better care, even when clinical evidence demonstrated that extra treatment doesn’t improve overall health.
"Though it is often an overall cost driver, advancing technology can positively or negatively impact cost growth," according to the report. "Previous studies distinguished between new technologies that substitute for older ones, which may either increase or decrease costs, and those that expand the range of treatments available, which almost always increase costs."
The BPC, a group led by former Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin, former Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former Senator Pete Demonici (R-N.M.), plans to develop a comprehensive cost containment package to reduce system-wide healthcare costs.