U.S. Hospitals Routinely Toss Out Valuable Medical Supplies
In its investigation of why health care costs are so high, ProPublica reports on the perfectly good stuff hospitals and medical personnel throw away. In other marketplace news, Stat writes about how changes to the work visa program could impact the medical industry while KHN looks into insurers steering beneficiaries to "preferred" pharmacies.
What Hospitals Waste
In 2012 the National Academy of Medicine estimated the U.S. health care system squandered $765 billion a year, more than the entire budget of the Defense Department. Dr. Mark Smith, who chaired the committee that authored the report, said the waste is “crowding out” spending on critical infrastructure needs, like better roads and public transportation. The annual waste, the report estimated, could have paid for the insurance coverage of 150 million American workers — both the employer and employee contributions. (Allen, 3/9)
About $765 Billion Is Wasted Each Year On Health Care. Can You Help Us Find It?
Experts say the United States might be squandering a quarter of the money spent on health care. That's an estimated $765 billion a year wasted on things like administrative red tape, high prices and overuse. We are all paying for this waste. (Allen, 3/9)
Change To Work Visa Program Draws Less Heat From Biotech Than Immigration Ban
Health and medical companies that employ many individuals who are not U.S. citizens seemed unfazed by a change to immigration policies that will increase the amount of time it will take to process their visas. While biotechnology executives slammed Trump’s executive order barring individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the United States, they have remained mum on a decision by the Department of Homeland Security to temporarily suspend a program that allowed companies to pay a fee to receive visas for employees in 15 days. Normally, it takes months. (Swetlitz, 3/9)
Kaiser Health News:
To Save On Drug Costs, Insurer Wants To Steer You To ‘Preferred’ Pharmacies
One of California’s largest insurers has proposed a change in the benefits of commercial plans next year that would require consumers to pay more for drugs at pharmacies outside an established network. Blue Shield of California wants to create “a tiered pharmacy network” in its 2018 small- and large-group plans, according to preliminary proposals the company submitted to the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), a state health insurance regulator. (Bartolone, 3/10)