The health care system is “so screwed up in where we invest our money,” and that needs to change for costs to become manageable, said a health researcher Tuesday.

Speaking at the National Association of Health Underwriters Capitol Conference in Washington, Ken Thorpe, co-director of the Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality in Atlanta, explained that health care costs can be broken down into two simple areas: the change in the prevalence of treated diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, and how much does it cost to treat those problems. To fix it simply, he says, there needs to be averting, detecting and managing chronic diseases.

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