Apr 25, 2014 – New Devices

April 25, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: ARE NEW TECHNIQUES AND DEVICES ALL THEY’RE CRACKED UP TO BE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

People with chronic or rare medical conditions may be subject to the financial burden of ostensibly improved technologies for helping them manage their health, a recent New York Times expose purports. Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, describes one such situation.

MILLER: A glucometer may not be a make it or break it investment for a patient. They’re expensive but they’re not hugely expensive. What you don’t realize though is the supplies one needs to operate the glucometer. The little test strips that you need to use can be upwards of $100 a week. New technologies come out for these strips requiring patients to buy the latest brand, it’s a big expense. It’s become unaffordable, and it’s necessary to look at the incremental benefit, is it really worth that added cost or not? :31

Miller says the small improvement doesn’t justify the expense, and says healthcare providers as well as patients must push back against these added expenses. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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