How to Cut $200 Billion in Health Care Costs

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News The U.S. spends $200 billion each year – about 8 percent of the nation’s health care tab – on medical care stemming from improper or unnecessary use of prescription drugs, a new report out Wednesday says. Much of those costs result from unneeded hospitalizations or doctor visits, according to the study by the IMS Health’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics, which provides data and other consulting services to the health care industry. Medical costs are driven …

Walgreens Becomes 1st Retail Chain To Diagnose, Treat Chronic Conditions

By Julia Appleby, Kaiser Health News. This story was produced in collaboration with USA Today It’s not just sore throats and flu shots anymore. Walgreens today became the first retail store chain to expand its health care services to include diagnosing and treating patients for chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and high cholesterol. The move is the retail industry’s boldest push yet into an area long controlled by physicians, and comes amid continuing concerns about health care costs and …

Does Going Vegetarian Cut Heart Attack Risk?

A large, new British study of vegetarians in the U.K. found that a meatless, fishless diet cut the risk of being hospitalized or dying from heart disease by a third – news that got a lot of publicity in this country last week. The study tracked nearly 45,000 people living in England and Scotland, of which about a third indicated they were vegetarians and ate no meat or fish. After about 10 years of follow-up, researchers found that the vegetarians …