According to multiple reports, the U.S. spends more on health care per person than any other country in the world. The problem is that the spending doesn’t translate into better results.
Research from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation study, Financing Global Health 2016, shows that despite the fact that the U.S. has the largest economy in the world, health care spending isn’t leading to better outcomes.
The U.S. tied with Estonia and Montenegro for 75th place in the study's ranking of 195 countries, far below other wealthy nations such as Norway, Canada, and Australia.
"America's ranking is an embarrassment, especially considering the US spends more than $9,000 per person on health care annually, more than any other country. Anyone with a stake in the current healthcare debate, including elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels, should take a look at where the US is falling short."
Experts define wasteful spending as spending that could be eliminated without impacting the quality of care being offered.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a nonprofit that advises the government, estimated that $750 billion was wasted on inefficient spending and care in 2009.
Some experts estimate that at least $200 billion is wasted annually just on excessive testing and treatment. Emergency room overuse, over-prescribing antibiotics and lack of access to medication all contribute to preventable spending.
According to a study done by the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, simply making sure every child with asthma had medication could save $2.5 billion a year.