|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
The Value of Medical Spending in the U.S.: 1960-2000
Cutler and his coauthors present evidence showing that the cost per life year gained from increased medical spending from 19602000 was approximately $20,000, well beneath standard economic estimates for the value of a lifeyear. However, the authors also found that spending perlife year increased dramatically after age 65.
The increased use of medical therapies has led to increased medical costs. To provide insight into the value of this increased spending, we compared gains in life expectancy with the increased costs of care from 1960 through 2000.
The authors concluded that "on average, the increases in medical spending since 1960 have provided reasonable value. However, the spending increases in medical care for the elderly since 1980 are associated with a high cost per year of life gained."
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