Online Program

The Waste In Healthcare: Spending $750 billion More Wisely

Wednesday, November 6, 2013: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The US medical care system wastes $750 billion every year, money that could yield great health improvements if devoted to the social and environmental determinants of health. This session will examine what we currently know about the health impact of investment in major social and environmental policies and interventions, information gaps and how they can be filled, and how the discussion of health spending can be re-framed so we invest our resources most productively. Approximately 55% of medical cost is paid by the private sector. The $400 billion of the medical care system waste (55% of $750b) the private sector pays every year is functionally a tax on US productivity and detracts from our international competitiveness, reduces resources for reinvestment in businesses, and money out of the pockets of investors and employees. If the government could reap 45% of the wasted medical care costs, and invested those resources in education, jobs, healthier foods, transportation infrastructure, among others, health could be remarkably improved and yield additional social benefits. This session will provide examples of the kinds of programs and policies that would have major impacts on health, but our ability to quantify those benefits is limited by the lack of research on the topic. Panelists will explore experimental, evaluative, and modeling methods to quantify the health benefits. Panelists will also discuss how to reframe the current health reform debate centered around medical care delivery and limiting access so policy makers, advocacy groups, and the public understand the opportunity costs of our current medical care system and the large health and social benefits that are foregone from waste in the medical care system.
Session Objectives: Attendees will be able to: Describe the opportunity costs associated with waste in the medical care system Identify methods for quantifying the health benefit of policies and interventions in other sectors
Jonathan Fielding, MD, MPH, MA, MBA
Steven Teutsch, MD, MPH


See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Special Sessions
Endorsed by: Medical Care, Community Health Planning and Policy Development

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: APHA-Special Sessions