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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Report: U.S. Wastes More than Half of Health Care Spending
06/02/2008

Click to listen to this taped broadcast.

I'm Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with "The Business of Health Care Report."

A recent analysis from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute revealed that the United States wastes more than half of the $2.2 trillion spent annually on health care.

The study points to the health care industry and consumers as contributing to a total of $1.2 trillion in unnecessary health expenditures. The waste is attributed to many factors, including ineffective use of information technology, medical errors and "behavioral" waste. This "behavioral" waste includes $200 billion in costs attributed to obesity, and $100 billion due to patients' failure to adhere to medical regimens.

The array of issues cited in the report clearly demonstrates that no single industry or group holds all the answers to transforming health care. That's why Texas Health recently co-hosted a forum of more than 220 business and community leaders who are working together to fashion recommendations for meaningful changes to our health care system. In order to succeed, we must commit long-term to this collaboration, and we must unite in support of our leaders in government who take on this issue.

We have our work cut out for us, but I am encouraged by the steps we have taken so far.

For our faith-based hospitals - Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial - I'm Doug Hawthorne.

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