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.
An epidemic of unnecessary treatment is wasting billions of health care dollars a year. Patients and taxpayers are paying for it.
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.
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 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.
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.
Experts in reducing charges for medical services say patients need to push for detailed answers up front about the true costs of their care.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.