For the 47 percent of Americans with multiple chronic diseases or conditions, health care costs increase dramatically. The average Medicare patient with one chronic condition sees four physicians a year, while those with five or more chronic conditions see fourteen different physicians a year. In 2002, beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions accounted for 76 percent of Medicare expenditures. [link; gated, but with abstract]
The obvious solution: more conferences, more papers, more research grants. Isn't that how we solve problems in other markets?
See my post at the Health Affairs blog for a description of how some employers are solving the problem with Health Savings Accounts.