A new study conducted by Indiana researchers examines the relationship between industry payments to providers and higher health care costs.
Industry payments are payments made to medical providers from companies, including drug makers. These are non-research expenses and could include meals or conferences. Amanda Mejia is on a team of Indiana University scientists that found an association between payments and price.
"Basically higher levels of industry contributions was related to higher levels of drug and medical spending. Even after controlling for variables like location and specialties," says Mejia.
Mejia says the analysis merits further study into what influence additional payments could be having on high healthcare costs.
The study used Medicare data sets made open to the public through the Affordable Care Act.