[ExI] USA Health Costs

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jun 2 23:13:38 UTC 2009

Luckily, I have to hand the details of 2008 research into overspending on medicine:
A team led by Elliott Fisher of Dartmouth Medical School published a paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine vol 138 p288 comparing medicare outcomes and the headline result was this: "For every 10% of additional medicare spending on hip fracture, colorectal cancer and heart attacks, death rates over 5 years rose by between 0.3 and 1.2 per cent."

That's right - the more money gets spent on these 3 common killers of the elderly, the greater the death rates. I remember checking out the website and seeing how they compared big-spending hospitals with smaller hospitals and with big "centre of excellence" hospitals. Over-servicing is here and killing elderly Americans today.

As for what the standards should be - I live in the UK, where our colossally centralised health care lends itself to the NICE declaring what treatments are cost-effective and what aren't, but across the world there are professional associations of doctors preparing up recommended guidelines for their members, and also the major medical malpractice insurers circulate their own case studies to inform doctors of mistakes made by their peers.



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