Throwing away money, exercise to stop aging (really!) and sore-throat advice

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Hospitals throw away tons of perfectly good, expensive and unused supplies every year, a new study finds.
  • Hospitals throw away tons of perfectly good, expensive and unused supplies every year, a new study finds.

Why is U.S. health care so expensive?

Maybe it's partly because we waste so much. “In 2012 the National Academy of Medicine estimated the U.S. health care system squandered $765 billion a year, more than the entire budget of the Defense Department…The annual waste, the report estimated, could have paid for the insurance coverage of 150 million American workers — both the employer and employee contributions.”

That’s part of a new report by ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom, which has launched an investigative series into the ways resources are squandered in our health care system. First up, an examination of the way hospitals wantonly discard tons of perfectly good, unused, and often expensive, supplies.

ProPublica also wants your help. If you work in health care, have you observed ways the system wastes money? Here’s your chance to speak out.

Fountain of Youth?
Want to stay younger, longer? Then get moving. A small but interesting new study is the first to show that exercise directly affects the powerhouses of our cells, the mitochondria. With aging, mitochondria begin to slow down. But with high-intensity interval training, research subjects under 30 years of age were able to increase their mitochondrial capacity by 49 percent. The oldsters (60 and over) had even more dramatic results, increasing mitochondrial capacity by 69 percent, effectively reversing age-related decline. High intensity interval training produced greater changes than strength training alone, or a combination of interval and strength training. "There are substantial basic science data to support the idea that exercise is critically important to prevent or delay aging. There's no substitute for that,” says one of the researchers.

Sore Throat?
A side-effect of our never-ending winter is plethora of sore throats, runny noses and coughs. InHealth’s Dr. Matt Thompson tackles the issue of when, and why, to treat a sore throat.