A report from the Institute of Medicine states that about 30 percent of health spending in the United States in 2009 (or  about $750 billion) was wasted on unnecessary services, excessive administration costs, fraud and other problems.   Finally.  I LOVE the “excessive administration” accusation.  YESSS!   And, by the way, it has got to be the highest cost of waste.  Why?  They don’t produce an income.  They only cost.    Other than that, the report is full of hot air.   They recommend:

  • Greater use of electronic health records (there are hundreds of products and none talk to each other)
  • Promoting patient and family involvement in health care decision-making (Ya’ think?  But that would mean they would have to have some skin in the game, which they don’t)
  • Quicker adoption of medical breakthroughs (ask the lawyers why this doesn’t happen)
Lastly, they say “incentives and payment systems should emphasize the value and outcomes of care”.   Ahhh.  The quality thing again.  Where’s the proof that you only pay me as a doctor if you live through surgery, for example.  Sounds good but then we get what’s called “cherry picking”.  All I want is solid evidence before these idiots go one pontificating the same crap because it’s the “in” thing.
Hey, IOM, let’s go back to the basics of your evidence.  Getting rid of fraud would entail removing those patients that abuse the system, those doctors that abuse the system and those hospitals/administrators that abuse the system (read my last blogs on excessive facility fees).  Unnecessary services are real but you can cut this dramatically if people paid out of pocket for it (like in a Health Savings Account).  And, lastly, there are those administration costs.  My favorite.   Let’s get rid of the red tape, mandates and regulations so that you cut out 80% of them and let’s see what happens.   No one would know they were missing.