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Healthcare Key Findings: January 2013

Report on U.S. Healthcare System Finds Waste and Opportunities to Improve

Report on U.S. Healthcare System Finds Waste and Opportunities to Improve

Health costsAccording to an Institute of Medicine report, “America’s healthcare system has become too complex and costly to continue business as usual.” Mountains of data, inefficiencies, as well as economic and quality barriers waste $750 billion annually, or about 30% of all healthcare spending. Unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs, fraud and other problems cited in the report stand in the way of improvements and “threaten the nation’s economic stability and global competitiveness.” One source estimates that 75,000 deaths might have been averted in 2005, for example, if “every state had delivered care at the quality level of the best performing state.” The report detailed examples of health care providers currently using smarter systems in healthcare delivery, preventing re-hospitalizations, upgrading record systems and eliminating ineffective therapies. The Institute recommended solutions to reduce costs and improve care by: ensuring doctors work in teams and share information; making prices and costs transparent to consumers, rewarding doctors for outcomes, not procedures; ensuring all doctors use the best-tested practices and identifying and correcting errors.



  • The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without a universal health insurance system. (
  • 75% of all health care dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, many of which can be prevented, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. (
  • There are four times as many health care lobbyists in Washington as there are members of Congress. (
  • An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease. In the United States, as many as one million individuals live with PD, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected. Incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50. Statistics have shown that men are slightly more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than women. (Parkinson’s FAQ)
  • The flu kills about 36,000 people each year in the US—90% of those who die of the flu are 65 or older. (

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