Waste in Healthcare Spending

Waste in Healthcare Spending



Waste in Healthcare Spending


            Healthcare in the United States involves the deliberate improvement or maintenance of health through procedural diagnosis, prevention, treatment of various injuries, illnesses or disease in humans at a fee. The administration of the same is through qualified and certified medical practitioners within the industry. Financial implications used in the delivery of healthcare determine the various allocations according to jurisdictions and health policies from one state to another. The coordinating bodies are responsible for the health plans, schemes, policies, regulation and the required functioning through robust financing systems. After the analysis and adequate checks, required information on healthcare spending is used in effective future developments, maintenance of health facilities, as means of ensuring that delivery of medicine, technology and care is equivocal to all people of the country. Despite the major contribution of healthcare to the economy, spending has several wastes that need eradication for better improvement.          


            One of the measures of wastes in healthcare spending is through unnecessary procedures and services towards the people. Bentley, Rachel, Kartika and Emmett (2010) note that close to over two hundred billion dollars, an annual basis is wasted on various health services under the guise of necessity. They are particularly test overload where the doctors carries out meaningless tests on patients in order to ascertain due diligence when diagnosing the patient. The charges consequently from the processes have to be met by the patient creating a cycle in the process as medication and eminent visits are delivered. Another form of waste is through inefficiency due to care execution. When the healthcare businesses fail, more costs have to be incurred in order to operate. In this case, the healthcare inefficiency is traced back to the patients and insurance company. Figures of up to a hundred and thirty billion are generated as waste from the significant inefficient due to care execution.

            In the healthcare systems of other countries in the world, single-payer systems have been the routes used in proper management and administrative operations. In the United States, it is a different categorization altogether. Close to a hundred and ninety billion on an annual basis is wasted in form of administrative operations, duties and fragmentation of services to patients across the country. Close to twice, the amount is witnessed as waste when compared to other nations. Inflation is another form of health care spending waste realized in the country’s system. Close to a hundred and five billion dollars on an annual measure are lost through inflated prices of the health services rendered to the people (Bentley, Rachel, Kartika and Emmett, 2010). There is lack of transparency in the cost, scarcity in competitive options for patients, strict rules regarding the providers and health facilities covered by various insurance companies are some of the loopholes used in generating the waste in the system.  

            Poor prevention tactics are part of the generators for healthcare spending waste in the United States. Preventative measures are reasonable as they set forth the required steps in ensuring that chance of diseases, illnesses and their treatments are minimized for the healthcare givers as well as the patients (Berwick and Andrew, 2012). In America, the type of waste can be expressed through doctor’s negligence from the initial process or not taking the patient’s conditions seriously. On the other hand, the patients are also blamed for not planning on the required actions to eradicate any chances of requiring healthcare services through spending. Other forms of wastes occur through issues affecting abuse. They include fraud, double billing, fake medical bills or even appointments that were never made. Up to ten percent of the Medicare, waste is translated from issue of abuse, either directly or indirectly with them consequential effects placed on the healthcare spending.

            In order for the country to curb the issue on waste in healthcare spending, various issues have to be addressed as well imperative measures taken by the relevant bodies. Smith and Fincham (2013) argue that the providers’ capacities have to be improved in order to use and collect digital data as well as advanced science as means of ascertaining proper needs for diagnosis and treatments by the caregivers. The involvement of the patients and their families before carrying out the care-giving decisions is also very important as well as increasing the comparative research for effectiveness in the procedures determined. Promotion of partnerships and effective coordination between the community and healthcare service providers is required in order to check the transitions and minimize any gaps through wastes (Smith and Fincham, 2013). There is also need to realign stricter rules on the healthcare service delivery in terms of accountability, auditing and record keeping of all procedures and process in order for scrutiny and ascertainment of the importance. Transparency should also be advocated in terms of performance provision, quality checks, prices, cost and information of the outcomes.                  


            Despite the major contribution of healthcare to the economy, spending has several wastes that need eradication for better improvement. The wastes are realized through unnecessary procedures and services, inefficiency due to care execution, administrative operations, lack of transparency, Poor prevention tactics and issues affecting abuse. Stringent measures and overhaul of the regulation bodies should be instituted in order to minimize any chance of wastage in health care spending.  


Bentley, T., Rachel, M., Kartika, P. & Emmett. B. (2010): Waste in the US health care system: A conceptual framework. The Pharmaceutical Journal, 86, 629-59.

Berwick, D. & Andrew. H. (2012). Eliminating waste in the US health care. Journal of American Medical Association, 307, 1513-6.

Smith, M., Wertheimer, A., & Fincham, J. (2013). Pharmacy and the US healthcare system. London: Pharmaceutical Press.

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