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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014

News

KDKA-TV: Quality Of Care A Question In Health Care Debate

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -  When it comes to heart attack care, improvements come but at a cost.

For society as a whole, or as an individual patient, your perspective may be different.

Being on the receiving end of high-tech treatment can be priceless. Ramin Hajave, of Grove City, who just had stents placed in his heart, thinks so.

"It's a life saving procedure. My other option was to get surgery, and this is great, this is really worth it," he said.

With heart attack treatment, Dr. Tony Farah, a cardiologist at Allegheny General Hospital, says you get what you pay for.

"The reason it's advanced so much, is because the government as well as industry have funded a lot of the research that resulted in those improvements," he said.

In 1977, the cost for treating a heart attack was $5,700. In 2007, it costs $54,000. While some of this is inflation, a lot of it is the cost of the new and better ways of doing things with medicines and procedures, such as opening up blood vessels with angioplasty and stents.

There's a similar picture for cancer, premature birth, arthritis, HIV, and other diseases -- the trend in all of them is for more intensive, expensive and better treatment.

"We always want to improve the survival of our patients as well as their quality of life, and that does come at a price," Dr. Farah continues.

To watch the rest of the story, please visit this link to KDKA-TV.

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