Veteran health care reporter Maggie Fox reports today on a Reuters study that confirms what President Obama has been saying all along, and what a 60 Minutes segment told us last night: money is leaking out of our health care system — one third of all health care expenditures are wasted. And 22% of the waste is outright fraud. That’s $200 billion in Medicare fraud alone.
The U.S. healthcare system is just as wasteful as President Barack Obama says it is, and proposed reforms could be paid for by fixing some of the most obvious inefficiencies, preventing mistakes and fighting fraud, according to a Thomson Reuters report released on Monday.
The U.S. healthcare system wastes between $505 billion and $850 billion every year, the report from Robert Kelley, vice president of healthcare analytics at Thomson Reuters, found.
“America’s healthcare system is indeed hemorrhaging billions of dollars, and the opportunities to slow the fiscal bleeding are substantial,” the report reads.
“The bad news is that an estimated $700 billion is wasted annually. That’s one-third of the nation’s healthcare bill,” Kelley said in a statement.
“The good news is that by attacking waste we can reduce healthcare costs without adversely affecting the quality of care or access to care.”
One example — a paper-based system that discourages sharing of medical records accounts for 6 percent of annual overspending.
If you are in doubt about the public option, or whether we can fund health care reform by cutting waste, read this entire piece!