$600-$850 billion a year is wasted in the U.S. on unnecessary or inappropriate health care services The most significant drivers of wasteful healthcare system spending are named by the 'unflappable' mnemonic used by Sen. Tom Coburn, which is derived from Thomson Reuters' Research's "Where Can $700 Billion In Waste Be Cut Annually From the U.S. Healthcare System?" [PDF; 10/2009] Unwarranted Use: $250-$325 billion Fraud and Abuse: $125-$175 billion
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To make health care reasonably profitable for private payers and more affordable for patients, those who manage health care must focus on reducing cost, which is far easier than increasing the health benefit or medical loss ratio.
One of the main goals in health care reform lies in reducing waste.
"Up to 30% of Medicare spending is wasted on needless care." "After adjusting for differences in health, income, medical price and other factors, the Dartmouth researchers’ overall conclusion is that the more costly areas and institutions provide a lot more tests, services and intensive hospital-based care than the lower cost centers. Yet their patients fare no better and often fare worse because they suffer from the over-treatment."