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Wednesday, 29th October 2008

U.S. Health Care System Wastes $700 Billion on Unneeded Tests

U.S. Health Care System Wastes $700 Billion on Unneeded Tests
Source: Progressive Policy Institute

At a time of financial crisis and a soaring deficit, the amount of reckless spending in the health care system is astounding: $700 billion is wasted each year on unnecessary tests and procedures that do not improve patient outcome. That wasted money is enough to give over $15,000 towards care for every one of America's 45.7 million uninsured. Hospitals spend almost half their budgets on unnecessary treatments, and the government programs which cap the costs for medical services have created an incentive for doctors to test more--regardless of necessity. The current system offers little hope or incentive for care that is both high quality and cost-effective.

The latest in the Progressive Policy Institute's (PPI) Memos to the Next President series, "Improving Health Care -- by 'Spreading the Mayo'," calls on the next president to lead a shift from the current system of managed healthcare to an integrated system, which would cost less and deliver better care. PPI Scholar David Kendall recommend that the next president issue a 'Mayo Challenge' to strive for patient care standards as good and economical as those of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, a successful example of the integrated health care model.

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