Cost becomes bigger question in treating heart disease

Reuters: Nov 12, 2012

The cost of treating heart disease has become a key factor in decisions by U.S. cardiologists grappling with the nation’s No. 1 killer.

Record prices for drugs and devices, reduced reimbursement by insurance plans and the looming full implementation of the healthcare reform law are convincing doctors to consider not only novel treatments, but also how to get the most bang for the buck.

The trend was reflected at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association, generally a forum for groundbreaking research on medications and devices to combat heart disease.

The conference for the first time last year featured an entire session on the economics of healthcare, including a study showing that eliminating drug co-payments for heart attack victims significantly reduced the chance that they would suffer another major cardiovascular problem. Read more