Eric Lefkofsky’s company Tempus is a technology company the hosts a medical library that stores clinical data. Naturally, they would also be very aware of the increasing costs of medical care. Recently, Forbes released an article in the Pharma and Healthcare section that dealt with the skyrocketing cost of healthcare.
The cost of healthcare expenditure in America keep rising, which is causing many to wonder why. Is it the number of visits to medical professionals that are increasing consequently affecting the overall expenditure for healthcare? Is it the length of time under the care of medical professionals? The answer is no to both questions. The reason healthcare costs keep rising is due to the increased costs associated with every type of care.
Stays in the hospital, though shorter cost more. Medical procedures though more advanced and sometimes utilizing a robot instead of a board certified surgeon cost more. The diseases or disorders that had the greatest increase in spending were diabetes and back and neck pain. The cost of treating people who suffered from diabetes increased because of the aging population, the increase of the number of people suffering from the disease and the increased use of pharmaceuticals. The number of back and neck pain sufferers decreased, therefore they sought less medical attention as a whole, but the remaining patients got more medical procedures performed, so the cost went up.
Despite efforts to reduce the length of time spent on inpatient care, while the costs were reduced by 201 billion, they were counterbalanced by more care being given in less time so the result was an overall increase in spending of $439 billion. In fact, one day in the hospital costs far more than it ever has. The director of the Division of Health Policy Research and Education at Harvard stated that he couldn’t determine if increased costs of healthcare represented increased value given to the patients.
Eric Lefkofsky and Tempus are working hard to compile a molecular library composed of medical data from thousands of individual cancer patients. With all that data, the costs of many cancer fighting methods will be less when the fight is focused on a single treatment that has been proven to work on similar cases. Tempus may single-handedly help keep the costs of medical care down in the near future.
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