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A Health Dividend for America: The Opportunity Cost of Excess Medical Expenditures

 
 
Research Topic: 
Health Economics & Policy
Population Health
Systems Engineering
 
Personnel: 
McCullough, Mac
 
Citation: 
McCullough JM, Zimmerman FJ, Fielding JE, Teutsch SM. A Health Divided America: The Opportunity Cost of Excess Medical Expenditures. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 2012; 43(6): 650-654.
Description: 

As of 2010, health care–related expenditures in the U.S. totaled some $2.6 trillion (17.9% of the gross domestic product [GDP]). Year after year, healthcare spending rises at double the rate of overall GDP growth, and total healthcare spending growth consistently outpaces overall inflation. This exuberant growth would be welcome if health care were thriving because of its effıciency. Instead, it is among the least effıcient parts of the economy, and much of the healthcare spending does not improve health outcomes substantially. Indeed, the IOM recently conservatively estimated that some $750 –$765 billion spent on health care in the U.S. is in excess of what should be spent to achieve the observed health outcomes. Others have estimated the excess to be between $700 billion to upward of $1.2 trillion.

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