USA Today recently published an article that discusses how the United States, is the world’s largest spender on health care, yet receives the least amount of value in return. “A 2012 Institute of Medicine report on health care spending in 2009 estimated that of the $2.7 trillion national spend on health care that year, 30%- or $810 billion- was wasted on unnecessary services, inefficient service delivery, fraud and abuse, predatory pricing and excessive administrative costs.” This is an alarming statistic that will hopefully spur health care professionals and lawmakers to start making adjustments for the future.
Although the Institute of Medicine report estimates that costs will continue to rise, health care leaders believe there are ways to make a difference now. “Hospitals and physicians that are seizing every opportunity for preventive care, wellness and population health management are part of the solution.” The ultimate goal is to eliminate waste and drive efficiency, while providing the highest levels of patient care.
The article maintains, “moving beyond improved communication and collaboration, payment reform will be the single most important driver in reducing all categories of waste.” By transitioning to a good performance and outcome based health care system, waste and inefficient operations are expected to decrease over time. By developing innovate and creative ways to bring down the current $810 billion in waste, the health care industry can provide a significant stimulus to the American economy, and results in improved patient care for all citizens.
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