New Healthcare Tech Causes Spike in Costs

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Many things make healthcare expensive in the United States, and close to the top of the list is technology. Several studies have challenged whether patients get better results from the latest high-tech equipment. Kaiser Health News reporter Jenny Gold has been looking at perhaps the costliest of these devices, proton-radiation facilities for treating cancer.

Gold says the therapy uses a "tiny beam of protons that are traveling at two-thirds the speed of light, which are directed at a tumor site. And the idea is that it's a more targeted delivery of the radiation than conventional radiation for cancer and causes less collateral damage to the surrounding tissues and organs."

Gold says proton-radiation is popular among the many adults fighting cancer, and that's why it's caused major waves in the medical technology industry. But Gold adds the therapy costs twice as much as standard radiation and studies show it's about equally as effective.