Waste

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.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]