The cost of prevention: Bankruptcy

A committed cardiologist focuses on prevention, and successfully reduces the incidence of heart attacks. The problem – his practice is losing money:

See, preventive medicine just doesn’t pay in the current American medical system. “The time we spend with patients — we get rewarded almost zilch,” Dr. Agatston says. Or as Dr. Valentin Fuster, a former president of the American Heart Association, puts it: “There is no incentive at all. It’s a disaster.” . . .

. . . But a lack of insurance is only one of the two huge problems with health care. The other is the perverse system of incentives that nudges doctors and patients toward expensive tests and procedures when cheaper preventive measures might actually produce better results. Partly as a result, costs are rising rapidly for the 250 million people who do have insurance.

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