To make health care reasonably profitable for private payers and more affordable for patients, those who are responsible for managing the care must concentrate on reducing cost (which, by the way, is far easier than increasing the health benefit or favorably affecting the medical loss ratio).
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We need an overall vision for health IT, however, for now, we acknowledge that one of the main goals in health reform is communication, focus and reducing waste.
$600-$850 billion/yr in the U.S. is spent on low value or inappropriate services
"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."