By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
Here’s an issue both presidential candidates should have a proposed solution for: Americans are wasting 30 cents of every dollar they spend on health care. Each year, our system squanders $750 billion dollars on unnecessary care, poorly delivered services, frivolous paperwork, fraud, lack of coordination of patient care and other waste.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), established in 1970 under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. Their role is to “…provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.” To learn more about the organization, visit their website, www.iom.edu. The report they released on September 6, 2012, “Best Care at Lower Cost” provided insight about just how much money our current system wastes, and where it’s being wasted.
The report isn’t all doom and gloom. We’re Americans, after all, and we can solve problems if we work together. In a way, the information about wasted money is good news – our health care system has a lot of room to lower costs without limiting care. We spend $210 billion on unnecessary services. Focusing on better coordination will lead to lower costs and better care. The IOM published their findings along with recommendations for streamlining health care and lowering costs. At a time when “budget” is a buzzword, we need to find a way to put a pin in the bloated health care system. I’ve written before that the amount of money we spend of health care is unsustainable – and what’s worse is that our results aren’t better than other industrialized nations.
There are already some hospitals in the United States that are lowering costs without diminishing care, and the federal government is studying how they do it. Next week, we’ll go to Wisconsin where an organization called Bellin Health has improved the quality and availability of patient care all while keeping costs down.