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The Truth About Health Care Costs

September 25, 2012
by Margaret Cuomo
Huffington Post

 

Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, all Americans can agree that our health care costs are unsustainable -- and the sooner we acknowledge that, the better. A new report from the Institute of Medicine reveals the truth about the way our health care dollars are spent. The IOM committee, made up of 19 members from various organizations, including the Carnegie Foundation, Harvard Medical School, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and private health care systems from across the nation,points out that "the U.S. health care system squanders $750 billion a year -- roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar -- through unneeded care, Byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste." The main areas of waste, including unnecessary services ($130 billion), excess administrative costs ($190 billion), inflated prices ($105 billion), prevention failures ($55 billion) and fraud ($75 billion), expose a status quo in health care that is shockingly inefficient and wasteful.

Flaws in the current system of cancer treatment contribute to this unnecessary spending. Too many diagnostic scans, too many blood tests, and too many medical procedures are costing our nation's health care system at least $200 billion annually.

 

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