December 17, 2014 – How to stop the over-consumption of health care
Doctors and patients in the United States must work together to minimize waste in health care. The millions of health care decisions made each day — to see a provider, complete a medical test, fill a prescription, or undergo a procedure — come with benefits, risks, and costs. Many of the choices are well informed by clinical evidence and expertise. But all too often they are driven by habit, hunches, or misaligned economic incentives, leading to substantial overuse of unnecessary, even harmful, services. The Institute of Medicine estimates that unnecessary services represent about 10% of all U.S. health care spending — nearly $300 billion a year.