The already high and still rising cost of health care has become a matter of serious concern and a subject of political dispute. The problem has no magic cures but, as is shown here, there are a number of promising modifications in current practice that promise to reduce the required outlays without impairing appropriate health care. Continual reports of new medicines, new tests, and new procedures have created an urgent need for careful comparison and evaluation of the advantages and beneficial results that these innovations offer. The same is true for the growing knowledge of genetic variations, which affects the course of therapy for some patients. Costs also can be saved, in some instances, by utilization of medical therapy, rather than interventional procedures. Preventive medicine provides still more opportunities for cost savings. This paper provides an overview of promising potential approaches to reduce the cost of health care.