Friday, December 14, 2012

Waste in USD Health System/ 10 year debt numbers

The cost of US healthcare is the highest in the world. Our health system cost about 2.8 trillion dollars a year and is about 17.9% of GDP.This might be okay if the results of that spending made us healthier but in many key areas of measurement we are at or close to the bottom[ examples infant mortality and life longevity].

One of the reasons for this is because there is a massive waste of money in people having unnecessary procedures. It is estimated that the US waste $850 billion a year in unnecessary procedures. Things like CT scans MRIs, EKGs,stress test, imaging test, bone density scans and antibiotics.

A number of doctors organizations have come together with Consumer Report to address this issue. They have a campaign called Choosing Wisely. The goal is to make people question the procedures doctors are performing and to understand many of these test are not necessary Now you might think why would doctors do this. Isn’t this a criticism of doctors? The reality is that many times these test are done at the request of the patient.

Not only is this a waste of money but in many cases it can be detrimental to one’s health.

In January or February of next year Choosing Wisely will be putting together a tool kit to help consumers make informed decisions about procedures performed on them. A number of big businesses will be providing this information to their employees. I think that small businesses should also join the campaign and when the tool kit is finalized provide it to their employees. What do you think? Should Small Business California work with California small businesses in getting this information out. For more information on the Google Consumer Report Choosing Wisely.

Maybe it is just me but I get confused when I hear discussions of our debt in terms of 10 years. When did we start using this measurement? I am not saying it is wrong but I would bet there are many like me that also are confused. How about you?

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116


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