The US currently spends between $750 billion and $1 Trillion a year on medical expenditures with no medical benefit. These expenditures include prices that are too high, unnecessary services, excess administrative costs, inefficiencies in care delivery, missed prevention opportunities, and so on. The Center for Health Advancement is working to make clear the real health opportunity costs of this wasted expenditure. Our models have shown that even small changes in how medical care is delivered and paid for could liberate enough money to make investments that would have a large impact on population health…and a large financial return as well.
Reducing waste and unnecessary cost increases in the US healthcare system is politically difficult. Yet precisely for this reason it is essential to be clear-eyed about the costs of doing nothing. Making progress politically will require an energized coalition of those who could benefit from change, and creating this energy requires careful articulation of the true opportunity costs of excess medical spending.