Spending On Medical Devices Remains Steady, Study Indicates

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Health care expenditures may be spiraling out of control, but spending on medical devices as a percentage of total U.S. health spending has remained relatively unchanged for the past several decades, according to a study sponsored by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).

Medical devices accounted for 5.9% of total U.S. health spending in 2009, the study reveals, almost the same as in 1999 (6%) and 1989 (5.3%). During the identical period (1989 to 2009), national health expenditures as calculated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) almost quadrupled, to $2.5 trillion two years ago. Spending on medical devices grew by the same proportion over the two-decade period, reaching $147 billion, the study indicates.

The study also shows a slower rise in medical device prices than for prescription drugs and other medical products. From 1989 to 2009, the research demonstrates, the former grew by 1% annually, compared to annual growth of 2.8% in the consumer price index (CPI) and a 4.7% rise of CPI for medical care.

“What we have found is that medical device prices have not been a driver of (national health expenditure)," says Roland King, one of the researchers and former chief Medicare actuary. AdvaMed Executive Vice President Ann-Marie Lynch corroborates King’s comments, adding that the lag in price increases for medical devices to is likely attributable to industry competition.

AdvaMed’s mission entails rolling back taxes on medical device companies that were enacted under last year's health care overhaul and are set to go into effect in 2013.
To read the study, click here: http://www.advamed.org/NR/rdonlyres/51EA9AD5-6E1B-4FBE-8700-E3BBAFA811AB....