Excess Medical Care Spending: The Categories, Magnitude, and Opportunity Costs of Wasteful Spending in the United States.

Abstract:

:Landmark reports from reputable sources have concluded that the United States wastes hundreds of billions of dollars every year on medical care that does not improve health outcomes. While there is widespread agreement over how wasteful medical care spending is defined, there is no consensus on its magnitude or categories. A shared understanding of the magnitude and components of the issue may aid in systematically reducing wasteful spending and creating opportunities for these funds to improve public health.To this end, we performed a review and crosswalk analysis of the literature to retrieve comprehensive estimates of wasteful medical care spending. We abstracted each source's definitions, categories of waste, and associated dollar amounts. We synthesized and reclassified waste into 6 categories: clinical inefficiencies, missed prevention opportunities, overuse, administrative waste, excessive prices, and fraud and abuse.Aggregate estimates of waste varied from $600 billion to more than $1.9 trillion per year, or roughly $1800 to $5700 per person per year. Wider recognition by public health stakeholders of the human and economic costs of medical waste has the potential to catalyze health system transformation.

journal_name

Am J Public Health

authors

Speer M,McCullough JM,Fielding JE,Faustino E,Teutsch SM

doi

10.2105/AJPH.2020.305865

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2020-12-01 00:00:00

pages

1743-1748

issue

12

eissn

0090-0036

issn

1541-0048

journal_volume

110

pub_type

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