What we're reading, May 4, 2016: heart disease risk calculator has led to overtreatment; healthcare price transparency tool actually increased spending for those who used it; and Martin Shkreli may be facing additional charges.
A recently updated formula for calculating the risk of heart problems has led to unnecessary treatments. TIME reported that the formula loosened the criteria for putting people on medications and overestimates the risk of heart trouble up to 5 or 6 times. Researchers found that the formula has led to an overtreatment of people whose risk is actually lower than predicted and who may not need to be treated with statins.
The use of a price transparency tool at 2 large employers has provided the wrong outcome. Not only did employees barely use the tools—which allowed patients to shop around and save on healthcare costs—but access to price information actually had higher spending, reported The Washington Post. People with access to the tool spent $59 more. However, researchers did note that of people who were using the tool about half searched for procedures that cost more than their deductibles. As a result they had less of a motivation to make thrifty decisions.
Martin Shkreli may be facing more charges in his securities fraud case. The former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals is already charged with defrauding investors in hedge funds and another company he ran, Retrophin, but could also face charges related to the distribution of Retrophin stock and a private placement deal, according to Bloomberg. Shkreli has asked a judge to wait before setting a trial date as his defense lawyers wait to see any new allegations. He is currently scheduled to appear in court on June 6.