by MARSHALL ALLEN, ProPublica
I’ve heard a lot of reports about the staggering amount of fraud, overtreatment and unnecessary health care in the United States. But the recent “Best Care at Lower Cost” report by the Institute of Medicine included this stunner: In 2009, the health care system wasted an estimated $765 billion– more than the entire budget of the Department of Defense.
I’ve got to hand it to the IOM committee for finding an interesting way to give those numbers a punch.
The report outlined the varieties of waste: Care is provided that’s not based on evidence; discretionary care is used too much; high cost options are chosen rather than avoided; care is fragmented; insurance administration and paperwork are inefficient; and fraud is at every level. The estimates of money poorly spent included:
$210 billion on overuse and unnecessary care.$130 billion in inefficiency, including mistakes and harm.$190 billion in excess administrative costs. [MORE]
Via Margaret Reeve Panahi