Trending News Today: Hospitals Impacted by High Drug Prices

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Hospitals are now reporting that they are also being effected by steep drug price increases that typically are unrelated to improving patient health. Inpatient spending on drugs increased 23.4% each year from 2013 to 2015, which is much higher than the 9.9% annual increase in retail drug spending. These increases were seen because of large price increases, rather than the amount of drugs being used, Kaiser Health News reported.

Many employers are shifting healthcare costs to their employees due to the 6% expected increase. They will do this through high deductible plans and new innovations, such as telemedicine and cost-cutting drug programs, according to The Wall Street Journal. A majority of employer plans will now have a deductible of over $1000 per person.

IBM is currently offering its supercomputer Watson to assist its US employees in choosing an appropriate treatment for cancer. This service uses artificial intelligence and human physicians to navigate potential treatment options, including enrolling in clinical trials, according to The Wall Street Journal. Watson will review relevant information from health records, and then process information from scientific data and studies to determine the best option for the patient.