Data shows that the same price is paid for different types of treatment
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/04/2013 -- According to a new study, those individuals who have undergone weight-loss surgery do not reduce their costs as they remove the pounds. The research shows hospital stays due to complications from the procedure exceed the savings from the avoidance obesity-related illnesses.
Researchers tracked the insurance claims of nearly 30,000 patients for a maximum of six years following bariatric surgery. They compared the costs with the group of individuals with obesity-related conditions who did not receive the procedures. While the pharmacy expenses and office visits were found to be considerably lower for those with the surgery, the repeat procedures were higher, according to the data. The study data will be entered into the journal JAMA-Surgery.
Bariatric surgery is a weight loss method with one of the highest effectiveness rates, with studies noting the procedure yields health benefits such as the reduction of possible diabetes and poor cholesterol.
This newest study was the longest of its kind, and also had the largest scope, and showed notable improvement in Diabetes and heart disease, but also noted that the surgery did not improve the overall health across all boundaries.
“This suggests that rampant bariatric surgery isn’t going to be an answer to health-care costs,” as some have suggested, said Jonathan Weiner, professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the study’s lead author. “That doesn’t mean that some people, some of the time won’t benefit from surgery. This is a major source of information into the overall decision into who should get surgery.”
What was most notable was the lack of savings due to having the surgery, with the average recuperation fee being $28,000 of average cost for the initial surgery. The total cost per year of health care was almost identical at $9,000 per year on average, whether or not the individual received the surgery.
“Future studies should focus on the potential benefit of improved health and well-being of patients undergoing the procedure rather than on cost savings,” Weiner said in a statement.
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