our sickest sector

Sources of waste in health care systemMore than half of all health spending is wasted.

Analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers finds that $1.2 trillion of the $2.2 trillion spent on our health system is wasted, and we’re all responsible for throwing our money away.

1) Patients waste.
2) Health providers waste.
3) Insurance companies waste.

Medical costs are expected to increase in 2010 by 9%, which is slightly less than recent years; 9.2% in 2009 and 9.9% in 2008, rates that outpace both real incomes and the rate of inflation.

Tip to Robert Oak at EconomicPopulist who noticed “We could bail out Goldman Sachs with that amount of money!”

Insurers and providers have made little effort to cut costs or automate. Every insurance company has its own forms and most facilities are pushing paper for patient and billing files as well as handling prescriptions. Errors are costly and devastating. As defense, too many tests and procedures are ordered.

Captured precisely not in an open marketplace, 160 million Americans receive health insurance through employers that offer few competitive alternatives while dealing with dominant players and cumbersome policy contracts.

Insured, underinsured and uninsured are increasingly obese, continue smoking, drink excessively, do not follow their doctor’s orders, and stretch expensive emergency services.

This revealing chart, ‘Identified Waste‘, is part of a 3-page .pdf summary, The Price of Excess: Identifying waste in healthcare spending. More reports at Health Research Institute.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Waste in Health Care Study