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How to lower health costs by millions

Apr 15, 2015 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
A new analysis of surgical outcomes nationwide concludes that more use of minimally invasive surgery for certain common procedures can dramatically reduce post-operative complications and shave hundreds of millions of dollars off the nation's health care bill.

Results of the research, conducted by Johns Hopkins investigators and published March 25th in JAMA-Surgery, indicates that American hospitals collectively could prevent thousands of post-surgical complications and save between $280 million and $340 million a year by using more minimally invasive procedures instead of traditional open surgery for routine operations of the appendix, colon, and lungs.

“Minimally invasive surgery,” also known as laparoscopic or keyhole surgery, involves making tiny surgical incisions to access organs and operate on them—in contrast with cutting into and through much larger areas of tissue.

Researchers analyzed more than 80,000 surgical cases to reach their conclusions.

--Sarah Hagerty
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