Fast Company has an article about the role of medical technology in sky-high healthcare costs. It even calls (the heretofore untouchable) designers enablers. An interesting excerpt offers the crux of the issue:
At $2 million apiece, with a monthly maintenance bill running around $20,000, [CT] scanners are bought in bunches by hospitals eager to lure patients and blue-chip doctors. In contravention of basic macroeconomics, the supply is actually driving demand. The more scanners hospitals snatch up, the more scans doctors order–76 million in 2005 versus 40 million in 2000–in part because they’re paid per test (that’s another story), but also to recoup hospitals’ losses on the equipment.