KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

The 10 Most Expensive Diseases

Forbes reports on a list of the 10 most expensive diseases.

"One way to reduce health care costs would be to find diseases with the most rapidly rising costs and target them for cuts. Unfortunately, the costs for treating pretty much every disease are growing rapidly--and for a bewildering variety of reasons. In the effort to overhaul America's health care system and the associated costs, this is not welcome news." Expensive new drugs are driving up costs for certain cancers, but even the more "simple, everyday problems," such as heartburn and high cholesterol, are becoming "more expensive because more people are being treated. Total medical costs grew at a 7% rate between 1996 and 2005." A list of the 10 most expensive diseases compiled earlier this year as part of a study in Health Affairs (Roehrig et al). The top five are mental health disorders, heart disease, trauma, cancer and pulmonary diseases (Langreth, 12/14).

The list is available as a slideshow from Forbes. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.