Study finds new doctors add to rising health care costs

WASHINGTON – A study published in this month’s Health Affairs found that care provided by less-experienced doctors can cost up to 13 percent more than treatment from their more experienced colleagues.

The research, conducted by RAND Corporation, found that the cost of patient care drops with every decade of experience.

“The reason isn’t clear, but it looks like the more costly practice style of these younger physicians could be actually a driver of rising health care costs, overall,” said Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs.

Researchers say these young doctors may be excluded from private insurance networks that take spending into account.

Other reasons for the cost associated with young doctors may be associated with them treating sicker patients than older colleagues and younger doctors’ familiarity with newer and more expensive treatments.

WTOP’s Dimitri Sotis contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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