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Wasted Medicine

Squandered Health Care Dollars

Billions of dollars are routinely wasted every day by health care providers in the United States — and it’s driving up the cost of care for all of us.

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A Hospital Charged $1,877 to Pierce a 5-Year-Old’s Ears. This Is Why Health Care Costs So Much.

An epidemic of unnecessary treatment is wasting billions of health care dollars a year. Patients and taxpayers are paying for it.

Other Entries

Unnecessary Medical Care Is More Common Than You Think

A study in Washington state found that in a single year more than 600,000 patients underwent treatment they didn’t need, at an estimated cost of $282 million. “Do no harm” should include the cost of care, too, the report author says.

Want to Lower Health Care Costs? Stop Wasting Our Money.

This year ProPublica documented the many ways waste is baked into our health care system, from destroying perfectly good medication to junking brand new supplies. Eliminating the waste could insure millions of Americans.

A Prescription for Reducing Wasted Health Care Spending

A ProPublica series has illustrated the many ways the U.S. health care system leaks money. Health care leaders and policymakers suggest ways to plug the holes.

More States Hatch Plans to Recycle Drugs Being Wasted in Nursing Homes

After reading ProPublica’s story, lawmakers in Florida and New Hampshire say they plan to follow the example of an Iowa nonprofit that redistributes leftover medications to needy patients.

Seven Ways Patients Can Protect Themselves From Outrageous Medical Bills

Experts in reducing charges for medical services say patients need to push for detailed answers up front about the true costs of their care.

Senators Introduce Bill to Reduce ‘Colossal and Completely Preventable Waste’

The senators cited a ProPublica story that found that drug companies have been making patients pay for oversized eyedrops and more liquid cancer medications than they need.

Drug Companies Make Eyedrops Too Big — And You Pay for the Waste

The makers of cancer drugs also make vials with too much medication for many patients. The excess drugs are tossed in the trash — another reason health care costs are so high.

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates

Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer.

How Two Common Medications Became One $455 Million Specialty Pill

After I was prescribed a brand-name drug I didn’t need and given a coupon to cover the out-of-pocket costs, I discovered another reason Americans pay too much for health care.

America’s Other Drug Problem

Every year nursing homes nationwide flush, burn or throw out tons of valuable prescription drugs. Iowa collects them and gives them to needy patients for free. Most other states don’t.

What Hospitals Waste

The nation’s health care tab is sky-high. We’re tracking down the reasons. First stop: A look at all the perfectly good stuff hospitals throw away.

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