Where do our wasted health dollars go to?
The biggest problem with health care delivery in the US is cost, which seems to have taken a back seat to other issues meant to be addressed by health care reform. We spend about $2.5 trillion dollarsa year on health care—that’s over eight thousand dollars a year for every man, woman, and child. What’s that getting you?
According to the government, about 30% goes to hospitals; 20% goes to doctors and other clinicians, 10% goes for prescriptions, and the other 40% or so goes for “other spending,” mostly administrative costs and haircuts for insurance executives. But it’s probably even worse than that: according to arecent JAMA study, about 20% of total healthcare expenditures are wasted dollars.
20% of 2.5 trillion dollars, by the way, is 500 billion dollars. Each year. The JAMA article breaks down the waste into several categories:..
- Choose Wisely Campaign
Nine United States specialty societies representing 374,000 physicians developed lists of Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question in recognition of the importance of physician and patient conversations to improve care and eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures.
These lists represent specific, evidence-based recommendations physicians and patients should discuss to help make wise decisions about the most appropriate care based on their individual situation. Each list provides information on when tests and procedures may be appropriate, as well as the methodology used in its creation.
Read the lists:
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American College of Cardiology
- American College of Physicians
- American College of Radiology
- American Gastroenterological Association
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- American Society of Nephrology
- American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
For patients, Consumer Reports and the medical societies developed summaries of the lists including:
- When do you need an EKG or stress test for heart disease? (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- When do you need an imaging test for a headache? (American College of Radiology)
- When do you need antibiotics for sinusitis? (American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology)
- When do you need antibiotics for sinusitis? (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- Why academic medical centers need a stress test(kevinmd.com)
A group of nine medical specialty societies recently announced the “Choose Wisely” campaign, targeting 45 commonly performed medical procedures and tests that offer little or no value in improving health. These interventions waste precious health care resources, lead to erroneous conclusions and/or false security, spur unwarranted additional interventions, and cause patient harm. Among the appropriately indicted procedures was cardiac stress testing of asymptomatic, low-risk patients. There is an old adage among savvy clinicians: “It is difficult to make an asymptomatic person feel better.” Attempting to do so can cause more harm than good.
- 5 Things Doctors And Patients Should Question (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Six Common Medical Procedures You Probably Don’t Need (businessinsider.com)
- Medical societies list unneeded tests to reduce healthcare costs (medcitynews.com)
- Physician Groups Call for Fewer Medical Tests (cherished79.wordpress.com)
- Physician Groups Call for Fewer Medical Tests (news.health.com)
- U.S. doctors advised to reduce routine tests, treatments (ctv.ca)
- Which Medical Tests Are Really Needed? (connecticut.cbslocal.com)
- Choosing Wisely, Continued… (rjwh617dotcom.wordpress.com)
- US doctors urge fewer tests‚ less costly treatments (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Doctor Panels recommend fewer tests for Patients (maryannebachia.wordpress.com)
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