US taxpayers spend over $800million A YEAR on unnecessary heart stents, report ... trends now
US taxpayers are spending over $800 million a year on unnecessary heart stents, a report has found.
Stents are tiny mesh tubes inserted into weak or narrow arteries and other passages to keep them open in patients with coronary artery disease, to widen arteries that have become blocked with plaque and keep blood flowing.
The new report estimated that one in five stents implanted between 2019 and 2021 was unnecessary because the patient was not at high risk of a heart attack, the Lown Institute, an independent research firm, found.
At around $10,615 per procedure at Medicare - the federal health insurance for people over 65 - that amounted to $2.44 billion over three years, or $800 million a year.
Stents are tiny mesh tubes inserted into weak or narrow arteries and other passages to keep them open
Dr Vikas Saini, a cardiologist and president of the Lown Institute, said: 'The overuse of stents is incredibly wasteful and puts hundreds of thousands of patients in harm's way.'
The report looked at over 1,700 general hospitals across the US and found that more than 229,000 stenting procedures were unnecessary.
The researchers estimated that over 20 percent of stents were placed without being needed between 2019 and 2021.
In the report, stents were defined as unnecessary if patients were diagnosed with coronary artery