Almost 30% of US Health Care Spending Is Wasted
New report finds $750B in unneeded care, administrative costs, fraud
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 7, 2012 1:51 PM CDT
A lot of money is going to waste in the US health care system.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The US health care system is hopelessly broken, blowing $750 billion a year—or about 30 cents of every dollar that goes into it—on unnecessary procedures, paperwork, fraud, price gouging, and other inefficiencies, a new report from the influential Institute of Medicine has concluded. "Health care in America presents a fundamental paradox," the report says. While medical knowledge and technology have taken dramatic leaps, the system "is falling short on basic dimensions of quality, outcomes, cost and equity."

The report has been in the works for 18 months, the AP reports. It suggests several reforms, including changing the way doctors are paid to reward results and discourage unnecessary treatments. "We have a lot of medical care that is not helpful," one cardiologist says. But "when you talk about getting rid of any type of health care, someone yells, 'Rationing.'" The report found disturbing things about care quality as well; for example, a third of hospital patients are harmed during their stay.

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fractal
Sep 9, 2012 4:30 AM CDT
When I was on medicaid, I had a chronic ear infection that originated behind my ear drum. Nothing could have cured it but surgery, because the bone was infected and needed to be cut out. The ENT specialist could have diagnosed this at any time with a newfangled head scan they had. But he refused to do so for almost 2 years, instead dicking around with antibiotics, antifungals etc... I believe he knew what the eventual diagnosis and treatment would be, but he wanted to suck the system for all it was worth, so he made me come in for MULTIPLE (often twice a month) visits and suffer. Though I asked for the head scan religiously every third visit, he would put me off saying he had a few more tricks up his sleeve, and lets see if this new medicine works any better.... Finally, I asked again about the head scan, and he pretended like this was a long awaited decision I HAD JUST COME TO MYSELF. He said: "Oh, so you have finally decided to opt for the scan! Good decision." And he proceeded to document exactly that in the chart. The next time I saw him he cheerily told me the head scan showed I must have surgery---something we should have found out much sooner. I think this kind of crap happens all the time with doctors and medicaid, because they are miffed that medicaid doesn't pay enough. So they play this self-rightous, passive-agressive game with medicaid, and the patient is just collateral damage. I have lost a third of my hearing and have terrible tinnitus. If this infection had been treated much earlier, most of that could have been avoided.
bubbahotep
Sep 9, 2012 1:23 AM CDT
Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning.
realtruth
Sep 8, 2012 11:03 AM CDT
And we think the Government can do a better job of controlling Waste.. Yea Obama Care!!! It is the Government influence that put us where we are today.. My mom on Medicaid/MedicareMedicare gets hugged every time she walks into a doctor’s office.. They ask.. "What extreme test and processes will you allow us to charge to the government today Miss"??? Seriously..It is about that bad...