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Healthcare Industry Waste Hits $800 Billion

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 7:42am

Avoidable care, poor hospital management and administration scams accounted for an astonishing $800-$900 billion in unnecessary healthcare expenditures in the U.S. last year, according to the latest findings from GBI Research.

Their new report contrasts the figure with the total U.S. government healthcare budget, which for 2012 stands at $1.1 trillion. Waste across the nation’s healthcare system contributes significantly to unnecessary treatment costs, which GBI cites as includiong prescriptions for branded products where cheaper generic alternatives are available, as well as patients who miss scheduled pharmaceutical treatments incurring extra costs such as laboratory tests and physician visits.Waste can also occur when medications for patients with acute conditions are not delivered in time, mandating redundant treatments..

According to GBI, the U.S. spends the most in the world on healthcare – 17.9 percent of GDP in 2010 – and has been continually expanding, even during the global economic recession, as other developed countries such as the UK, Germany and Italy have been forced to reduce healthcare expenditure. President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could play a part in increasing this amount, reaching $1.6 trillion by 2017.

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