as the cost of medical services continues to grow faster than most Americans’ incomes, even people with private insurance coverage are finding the cost of care becoming unaffordable : Health


Wasted health care spending in the U.S. tops annual defense budget, study finds

Administrative activities account for the largest source of needless spending, followed by inflated and opaque pricing.


Activities such as medical coding and billing, recordkeeping and other clerical activities result in roughly $266 billion in excess spending annually, according to the study, which was published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

But the overall amount of money that goes down the drain is even greater. Factoring in other inefficiencies, such as a lack of price controls for health services, poor coordination of care, and fraud and abuse, the total tab that is wasted every year runs between $760 billion and $935 billion, according to the researchers. That’s fully a quarter of all annual health care spending in the U.S., not to mention greater than the entire 2019 defense budget

Indeed, a 2016 study funded by the American Medical Association found that doctors spent almost twice as much time on administrative work (49% of their time) as they did seeing patients (27%). Physicians also took another one to two hours of clerical work home with them each night.

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