Cost of waste in U.S. health system estimated

Cost of waste in U.S. health system estimated

(HealthDay)—The estimated cost of waste in the U.S. health care system varies from $760 to $935 billion, according to a special communication published online Oct. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

William H. Shrank, M.D., from Humana Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky, and colleagues estimated current levels of in the U.S. care system and reported estimates of potential savings from interventions shown to reduce waste-related .

The researchers found that the estimated ranges of total annual cost of waste were $102.4 to $165.7 billion for failure of care delivery; $27.2 to $78.2 billion for failure of care coordination; $75.7 to $101.2 billion for overtreatment or low-value care; $230.7 to $240.5 billion for pricing failure; $58.5 to $83.9 billion for fraud and abuse; and $265.6 billion for administrative complexity. Measures to eliminate waste resulted in estimated annual savings of $44.4 to $93.3 billion for failure of care delivery; $29.6 to $32.8 billion for failure of care coordination; $12.8 to $28.6 billion for overtreatment or low-value care; $81.4 to $91.2 billion for pricing failure; and $22.8 to $30.8 billion from fraud and abuse. The estimated total annual costs of waste ranged from $760 to $935 billion, while estimated savings from interventions ranged from $191 to $282 billion.

"The best available evidence about the cost savings of interventions targeting waste, when scaled nationally, [shows that these savings] account for only approximately 25 percent of total wasteful spending," the authors write.

Two authors received support from Humana Inc.; one was employed by UPMC Health Plan.


Explore further

Bigger is cheaper when it comes to intensive care

More information: Abstract/Full Text
Editorial 1
Editorial 2
Editorial 3
Editorial 4
Editorial 5

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Cost of waste in U.S. health system estimated (2019, October 8) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-health.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more