Monday, September 10, 2012

US Health Care System Wastes $750B a Year

The Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, just released a report more than 18 months in the making.  They conclude that over $750 Billion is wasted every year "through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste."

They assign $55B of the $750B to "Prevention Failures".  Failure to prevent pressure ulcers must be a very large part of this.  In fact, the NDF completed a study several years ago that found the failure to prevent pressure ulcers alone was costing $50 Billion annually.  And we now know that prevention is, for the most part, straightforward by implementation of the NDF Prevention Protocol.  Assess the risk for every admitted patient usong the Braden Scale, and assign each high risk patient to a proven pressure-relieving support surface. With potential savings so great, we don't understand why every hospital does not make the required investment.