Stethoscope and Medical ChartAt the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, researchers reported that patients who received drug therapy alone did not experience more heart attacks or die more often than those who also received bypass surgery or stents – further evidence that a medication regimen can be just as effective in treating heart patients as risky (and costly) invasive procedures.

According to study chair Dr. Judith Hochman, the U.S. could save more than $775 million a year by not giving stents to patients who get the devices even though they have no chest pain. Stenting costs an average of $25,000 per patient, while bypass surgery costs an average of  $45,000… and such procedures are often performed not for sound medical reasons, but for simple expediency.

As with any medical condition, MedBen recommends that members have a discussion with their physician or specialist to explore all possible solutions for their specific medical needs.